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Discussion Starter #1
My 2016 GT got decently damaged in the windstorms we've been having out here which will require body work and repaint. I like the 2018 front-side refresh and figured I would see what that would entail to update from a 2016 front end to 2018 GT, GT Reserve, or Signature while I'm at it. I'm not worried about refreshing the rear (rear bumper, tail lights, etc.)

I've already figured out the components that would need to be swapped out (bumper, upper bumper panel, hood, headlights, etc.). It seems like the fenders are the same part #'s from 2016 to 2018 which is interesting because the 2018 headlights look slimmer. The only part I have any concern about would be the headlights. I'm not fully certain if that is plug n' play, or how extensive the re-wiring work would be. I know the 2018 doesn't have fog lights unlike my 2016 so that's one less worry about wires.

Side note: I've modified all of my Mazda vehicles, with extensive work on my FD and some on my R3 so I'm not too worried with modifications... just seeing if anyone else has thought about swapping parts to "upgrade" to the 2018 front end and what you may have run into.
 

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Wiring changes between the model years would be my concern. My suggestion would be to get a factory wiring manual for both years and start comparing the pin outs and features of the two. I successfully added full auto windows to my gen1 that were from a mazdaspeed 6 but it took a LOT of studying and drafting of the wiring plan to figure it out and then implement it.
 

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So far as I know, you're not gonna be able to swap those bumpers. The 2018 headlights are certainly a different size and the bumpers have varied mount points.

As for the re-wiring, I do not believe it's possible to upgrade to GT headlights from Touring unless you forego several wires involving the headlight movement mechanisms, which I don't know how the headlights would behave missing components.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
**not sure why my quoted reply wasn't approved, so here's take 2, but without the quoted portion this time:

I'd be swapping complete front-ends going from a '16 GT to '18 GT/GTR/Sig (but foregoing the parking sensors) so every exterior front-end part except the fenders. Both have LED adaptive headlights... caveat being the headlights module being different part #'s between the two years so I may have to get that. The left/right fenders are the same part #'s for the '14-'18 model years so in theory, the outer edges of the headlights are the same shape and size with the slimmer part being towards the inner sides.

What part of the bumper do you think would have trouble mounting up once all of the appropriate pieces (bumper, hood, grille, upper bumper panel) are swapped? With the same fenders between model years, the sides of the '18 bumper should connect perfectly to the fender brackets. I took off my bumper to see what's involved with that and did side-by-side top view comparisons of a '16 to '18 bumper. The top mounting points look similar. I'll go to a dealership later this week to compare measurements and distances between bolts. The tell-all sign would be if the '18's upper support panel doesn't fit on the '16. I'm waiting on that part to come in to compare bolt holes for test fit purposes. If that fits, then the top and sides are good in terms of fitment.

For headlights, my contact at Mazda corporate linked me to the wiring diagrams so I'll look at those tonight. My '16 GT has adaptive headlights just like the '18, but the module might need to be swapped out. If it's a matter of just swapping pigtail connectors it should be fairly smooth.

What do you think? I really appreciate concerns and feedback because I'm sure I may be overlooking other stuff.
 
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