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SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid Reader
4/6/11 9:27 p.m.

I keep playing around with the idea of a new car, but then I remember that there are cars out there that were new a few years ago that I wanted then and still kind of like.

Anyways, I still like the 1st Gen Mazda 6, especially the hatch and wagon.

Now I don't remember everything, but could you get any model with a manual? And was it only a 5-speed or was there a 6-speed?

Are there any downfalls to these cars? IIRC, they didn't have great material for the cloth interior.

I would probably get the V6, is there any quirks to be aware of?

Just playing around with the idea, I hopefully will get a newer car in the near future.

neckromacr
neckromacr Reader
4/6/11 9:45 p.m.

Manual was available for everything, but not so common.

The Autos aren't horrible though. 05+ got the niftyier 6 speed

I got the Wagon for the wife.

Power Steering pump started seeping at 35K mi

Bose Audio cuts out right channel when playing CDs for awhile

I have to replace some control arms since the earlier design was found to bind and squeeks pretty noticeably. Then I found out you have to drop the subframe to get said control arm out.

The 3.0 alternator replacement requires a CV shaft removal, haven't had to but not looking forward to it.

It hasn't been bad otherwise, the wife thinks its the bee's knees, but she's not the one who has to wrench on it.

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/6/11 9:45 p.m.

oem clutches suck judder problems like you wouldnt believe. aftermarket not so much. headlines like to fall down. lower wishbone motor mount is junk easily fixed with awr or cpe or street unit mount. very fun to drive not a drag race car by any means tho. if getting a v6 with over 70k on it ditch the oem manifolds and get headers. the cats in the manifolds like to go bad and they take the engine with it. by causing piston slap which sends shavings of metal down which then get into the bearings and poof. manual with any model available. just a 5 speed. be careful on the fluid. do not run any gl-5 specd fluid which i understand can be tempting with how few 75-90 synth gl-4's there are but you will be buying a new trans if you do. the shifter cables tend to break on the hold in bracket on the trans. simple to make up a bracket to prevent this tho. any other questions?

ive had mine since 04 and done and broken everything possible. personally i dont find it terribly hard to work on. for instance yes alternator requires removal of cv shaft but you can remove cv without undueing the brakes. undue upper control arm undue axle nut. undue shock wishbone. 2 or 3 bolts on carrier bearing for cv out comes cv axle. 3 bolts on alt plus wires and its out. total time 15 to 20 minutes. max of an hour.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid Reader
4/6/11 10:12 p.m.

How's the mileage on the V6 on the highway? I remember they had them rated at 26 mpg. The wagon slightly worse.

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/6/11 10:15 p.m.

rated at 24. with manual at 75 and stock your looking at 24 to 27. with 6 sp auto 27 to 30. get a cpe intake and you will be consistently over 30 in my experience. problem is engine really does run really rich. ie under full throttle its not uncommon for air fuel to dip into 9.x:1 ranges. cpe intake with thier customimizer box leans things to a normal leval thus improving mpg. oh and the dyno proven 18 to 20 whp and tq to match are nice too.

Capt Slow
Capt Slow Dork
4/7/11 4:02 a.m.

I don't know what your budget is but the mazdaspeed6 is fun too. I have enjoyed mine. The only real issue I have encountered has been the rear differential mount letting go. I have upgraded the mount with one from turbine tech and have not had an issue since.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair SuperDork
4/7/11 8:28 a.m.

sounds like KATYB covered it all, afaik.

i've got an '03 sedan with 142k miles, V6 / MT / Sport, no mods, still on OE clutch which surprises a lot of people. when i bought it 1 year ago @ 126k, it had a noisy front wheel bearing, the CEL was on for Lean Bank 1 and Lean Bank 2, the headliner was hanging down across the rear window, and the fuel pump either sucks air or gets blocked during right turns @ under 1/4-tank.

i get 23 in mixed use, and i think i got 26 highway @ 75 - 80.

CEL was caused by a torn intake elbow between the MAF and the TB. full-service oil change douches bend the berkeley out of them to access the air filter, and they tear. i wrapped it with duct tape and reset the CEL and it hasn't come back. headliner was "fixed" with a spray can of Elmer's Craft Adhesive or something like that, got it in the crafts section of Target for about $5. problem isn't the cloth or the adhesive, the breakdown is the foam that the cloth is glued to, so it has to be redone ~ 6 month intervals. wheel bearings were not overly complicated. had to borrow a beefier impact to get the axle nuts off, and took the knuckle/hub assemblies to local shop for pressing apart and replacing bearings.

i love mine as a sporty yet comfortable and not-cramped commuter and family sedan. holds 4 adults comfortably for lunch outings etc. with the back seat folded down, i can get my mtbike in thru the trunk with the front wheel off. i'd prefer the hatch, but the price was very right on this one.

in a few weeks i'll fix the fuel pickup issue. KATYB says it's easy-peasy and i believe her.

mndsm
mndsm SuperDork
4/7/11 8:35 a.m.

I know sometimes stuff like this happens to them, and it's a good thing. I also know if you go as far as the Mazdaspeed6, you're getting a decent platform with a fairly wicked little motor. They're not perfect, but a lot of the haters are people that expected it to be an Evo killer, which it is not.

Javelin
Javelin SuperDork
4/7/11 8:36 a.m.

I was shopping for a 6 Wagon with a manual and cloth. I never found one in ~4 months of searching, but found 3-4 5's with that combo. I still love the looks of the 6, especially the wagon with the sport pack.

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/7/11 9:34 a.m.

wagons and hatches are rarer. but they exist.

keethrax
keethrax Reader
4/7/11 9:40 a.m.
Capt Slow wrote: I don't know what your budget is but the mazdaspeed6 is fun too. I have enjoyed mine. The only real issue I have encountered has been the rear differential mount letting go. I have upgraded the mount with one from turbine tech and have not had an issue since.

I test drove a mazdaspeed6. On the one I drove the power transfer to the back was both abrupt in it's effect and unpredictable in its timing. It made me nervous. The car was used, but didn't have all that many miles on it (20k or so).

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid Reader
4/7/11 9:52 a.m.

I've found about 20 Mazda 6s on the local craigslist and EVERY SINGLE ONE IS AN AUTOMATIC.

mndsm
mndsm SuperDork
4/7/11 9:53 a.m.

The manuals are rare and somewhat coveted... but I know they can be had in the manual/v6 combo.... a few friends of mine have em.

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/7/11 10:30 a.m.

mines a manual and v6.

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/7/11 10:32 a.m.

wilde honda has 3 manual v6's and wilde toyota has 1.

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/7/11 10:33 a.m.

napleton autoworks has a nice copper one also.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
4/7/11 10:33 a.m.

Why they never did a Mazdaspeed wagon is beyond me. IIRC the MS6 was AWD while the MS3 was only FWD. So there's that.

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/7/11 10:37 a.m.

as i understand it they didnt due the wagon so the same reason as not doing the hatch.... the rear braces couldnt be there in the wagon and hatch thus hurting handling. the hatch and wagon have the best over all wieght distribution. believe it or not the v6 and ms6 both have the same f to r wieght distribution with the 6s being lighter than the ms6.

gjz30075
gjz30075 Reader
4/7/11 1:24 p.m.

In the Atlanta area: http://atlanta.craigslist.org/eat/ctd/2234209643.html

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/7/11 1:31 p.m.

damn thats tempting as a car for my spouse..... hmmmmm........ ya better not unemployed and all.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid Reader
4/7/11 1:50 p.m.

I would think there would be more examples out there.

Capt Slow
Capt Slow Dork
4/7/11 2:43 p.m.

In reply to keethrax:

I wouldn't call it abrupt, but It was not nearly as predictable as I would like. My biggest gripe is the traction control... it is a real kill joy, and completely unnecessary on an AWD car, Good thing it has an off switch.

I have had the stability control kick in in odd ways in the past too, apparently it has an anti-under steer circuit. I have felt it kick in a grand total of 1 time, but it was pretty awesome! I think it would be really interesting to reprogram these computers like they do with the engine management computers, I think there is a lot of potential there...

keethrax
keethrax Reader
4/7/11 3:00 p.m.
Capt Slow wrote: In reply to keethrax: I wouldn't call it abrupt, but It was not nearly as predictable as I would like.

Well, it was a used one. And I don't think people buy mazdaspeed versions of cars to not thrash them at least some.

The one I drove would definitely qualify as abrupt, but it could very well be a sign of something wrong from being abused at some point. That's why I made sure to point out it was a used car I drove, and not a new one. I didn't know how much was inherent in the car and how much was specific to that one car and its history. I've heard others, including you now, mention the unpredictability. So I'm chalking that up as inherent, and the abrupt as more specific to the one I drove.

If it had been a (non-existent) wagon/hatch I may have talked myself into dealing with it. But that was already a ding against it.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid Reader
4/7/11 5:08 p.m.

How hard is it to replace a clutch, since it seems the OEM one is a hunk of junk?

KATYB
KATYB Reader
4/8/11 8:03 a.m.

ummmmm not fun! drop subframe out of car. tilt motor down about 5 inches till the engine is almost hitting the frame rail on passenger side. slide tranny out.... it calls for about 10 hours.... with a lift if your good it can be done in 4. without a lift min i see happening is 10. prob more like 2 days.

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