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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Buying new parts from Mazda to complete your spring and strut setup without scavenging from your OE struts is an easy way to speed up the process and minimize the weight of your swear jar. I'll tell you what part numbers are needed and how to assemble the struts.

OEM Mazda parts needed
KD3534380C (x2) Upper mount/top hat
KD353438XA (x2) Strut bearing
B45A34015 (x2) Dust boot
GHP934111 (x2) Bump stop
KD35340A3 (x2) Spring perch/seat

Tools needed:
Spring compressors
Typical metric socket set
19MM deep impact socket
1/4 inch drive extension, 1/4 to 3/8 adapter



I ordered from onlinemazdaparts, fast response to my question and prices seemed fair. Mazda parts are C-H-E-A-P!

I installed Konis paired with H&R springs. I'm sure more aftermarket shocks will come to market eventually, and this guide should still be applicable.
To assemble:
Get your struts, and remove any cap like shown. Just compress the strut rod a bit and the cap and metal bracket will come off.




Place the rubber spring perch at the bottom of the strut, the fitment is non-ambiguous. The konis include a plastic surround. Slide that on, then the bump stop, then the dust boot. The Mazda service manual (Thanks Byakuya) says to grease the bushing, I just spread some silicone grease for brake parts (rubber safe). Not sure if really necessary. Push these down towards the bottom of the strut for now.




Compress the spring, placement should be roughly like I have it.... make sure the ends of the bolts are facing UP.




Place the spring down around the strut rod, lining up the end of the spring with the notch that stops the spring from rotating. Take the top hat and the strut bearing and fit them together. I don't have a picture of this but it's pretty obvious. The long and thin end of the strut bearing goes against the spring. Should now look similar to what I have here, minus the socket on top.




Place the lock washer at the top and then hand tighten the 19mm nut on top.



Now to tighten this down properly, you are supposed to use a specific tool which can be seen in the lowering spring DIY posted here, but I was unable to find that locally. So here's a way to get it properly tightened and torqued without the special tool.

Get a 19mm deep impact socket with a hole on the side, and get the largest allen key that fits in that hole. Then get a 1/4 inch drive extension and a 1/4 inch drive 9mm socket, you'll probably need a 1/4 to 3/8 adapter as well for better leverage.



Set the ratchet to loosen. Place the 9mm down around the top, then put the 19mm down around the nut. The goal here is to tighten the outside without spinning the inside. So push the ratchet in the loosen direction and push the allen key in the tighten direction. The torque figure is 37 ft-lbs if I remember right, but double check on your koni sheet. Just get it guten tight because it is difficult to apply the proper torque when it isn't installed in the car. Then when installed you can torque it.



At this point you are done assembling the struts. Unscrew the spring compressors slowly, ensuring that the bottom of the spring is still aligned properly with the spring seat/perch and that the top is seated correctly as well.



Push the dust boot and bump stop up to the top of the strut.

Repeat the same for the other side. For the rear struts, you'll need to remove the oem rear tophat/bump stop/ dust cover combo, because I could not find it on parts sites.

As far as installation goes, I referenced Byakuya's workshop manual for all torque values.
 

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Do you need to drop ball joints or control arms to install/remove the strut assemblies on this car, or do they clear the mounts with the suspension undisturbed?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Do you need to drop ball joints or control arms to install/remove the strut assemblies on this car, or do they clear the mounts with the suspension undisturbed?
The front is straightforward, it's a standard mac strut. So no clearance issues. The rears... I dropped the arm that the spring sits on (not a locating member fortunately) in order to remove the long bolt that ties the shock to the knuckle. You can see what I'm talking about here. Part 5. It's probably possible without unbolting that arm and removing the spring, but a) I was changing my springs anyway and b) I had a lot more room to work with.
 

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That's nice -- on a LOT of imports (and more than a few US cars) you can't get the strut out without dropping suspension-alignment-altering things.

For example, on my Jetta according to the Bentley (official shop manual) the procedure is to remove the ball joint mount bolts to gain clearance to remove the strut, as otherwise the lower control arm (particularly on the pax side) will interfere against the driveshaft. I have figured out a procedure to get the struts out and in without doing that (as if you DO remove those bolts you then need to have an alignment done since getting them EXACTLY in the same place is impossible) but it's definitely a bit of redneck engineering to do so. Now maybe it's easier (in terms of swear-jar contributions) to do the job by the book but unless you happen to have an alignment machine at your house (I don't) it's also another $100 for the trip to the shop.

Being able to R&R struts without disturbing the front end geometry (and thus requiring a trip to the alignment rack) is a big bonus on this car if it indeed can be done. I figure I'm probably another year at my current accumulation of mileage rate from wanting to do the front struts (~80k miles or thereabouts is probably where I'll change them, perhaps about the same time I do the brakes, and those Koni's look nice.)
 

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This is how I think I'm going to install my new koni's. Just buy the new oem parts and not have to take the struts apart.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

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Sorry to revive an old thread, but I'm going with the same setup as yourself mcbru (Koni Yellow/H&R). What do you think of it so far?
 
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