I have a 1997 mk1 1.8 uk car, is there anyway I can tell if it has a limited slip diff without taking it out?



Often as not, viscous diffs pack in being LSD with age. They don’t break as such, but revert to “open”. Take it somewhere safe, and only if the car is fit & you are confident the whole drivetrain is strong, dump the clutch at around 4k/5k…preferably with an empty fuel tank and empty boot for lightness. If you are left with one black line…it’s a goosed LSD or was open to begin with. If you get two rubber tracks, it’s still operating as a locking diff.

There are more technical ways, but that’s my favourite!Big Smile

This will be at your mechanical risk.Wink

 Most 5s will leave 2 black lines even with an open diff, but an open diff won’t do donuts (really hooly test)

What’s your VIN, I can check for you. Only a very small number of UK NAs had LSD.



fingers crossed ??

It’s an open diff on all UK Mk1s (barring mistakes or part shortages in Hiroshima), unless of course someone swapped it out for a Torsen from a Roadster.  The latter was a popular modification but Torsen diffs are getting rather expensive now as the supply dries up.  I looked into it once but it was going to be about £400 plus fitting and TBH the only advantage to me would have been a minor one in the snow (you can generally find some grip with a Torsen and judicious use of the handbrake to stop a wheel spinning up).

The ID sticker inside the driver’s door shut should say if it has an LSD.

I’ve had the rear of the car jacked up and found that the wheels turn very freely in opposite directions so I don’t think it’s likely to be LSD.

since I’ve started track day’ing the car the hunt is on for a reasonably priced LSD. Do I need to be specific re age, engine size etc or will any mk1 LSD be ok?




Mk2 fit also, but you need the diff from a 98-00 1.8iS which is a 4.1

or a 4.3 from certain import mk1 

Normal Diff, as you’ve since found out.


Thanks for looking.