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Discussion Starter #42
Finished up last night! Brand new coils and NGK iridium plugs. Haven't driven it yet but it idled just fine. And other good news--tomorrow I'm picking up a set of '15 6 rims from a kid who's selling them for $150!


Those wheels are going to look awesome, are you going to leave them that color?


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I think so. I'm sick of painting car stuff at the moment, haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #43 (Edited)
I haven't done much to the wagon over the winter. This weekend on her maiden spring voyage, the front chrome piece flew off into the road and cracked in two. Can't say I was really surprised as it seemed kind of loose. I was able to retrieve it from the road (much to my daughter's horror, haha) and luckily it only broke into two pieces although it had extensive cracking on the right side. It was in pretty rough shape. I have most of a bottle of the metallic gray paint I used to touch up the body rust spots so I decided to see what that looks like as opposed to trying to replicate the chrome.

Wow, that chrome film is high quality! It did not want to come off. Here's a pic of the damage (one side has the chrome off, the other doesn't):


Here it is glued together and sanded, ready for primer:


Primed:


And painted and clear coated:


It'll never be mistaken for a professional job but I think it will look just fine from a distance when I mount it on the wagon 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #44 (Edited)
So here it is mounted on the car. The entire car is smudgy and dirty, so a polish and wax will make everything look pretty good I think since it should minimize the faint appearance of the cracks.

Before:


After:


Definitely changes the look of the front!
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Finally got the "new" rims mounted today!
 

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Looks great, I like the grille and the color matching. I am planning to do the same with my wagon. Keep it up!
 

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Discussion Starter #48

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Discussion Starter #49
So my body-colored grille piece was short-lived. A week or so it flew off on the highway. There's no good way to attach that piece if it's been busted. Luckily the whole grille piece is only a little over $30. I just had to switch the Mazda emblem over to the new one. Back to chrome it is! Photo taken earlier today.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
The other day, I finally gave the wagon "the works" (wash, clay bar, polish, wax) for the first time. I've had it for a year and figured it was time. The metallic flakes really seem to pop afterward! I put down a layer of the Chemical Guys sealant and then a layer of the Car Guys "hybrid wax". I like the combination and hopefully it will be somewhat durable. I also removed the tint from my headlights because even though it was minor, I wasn't comfortable with reducing the amount of light at night by any degree.
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Discussion Starter #51
So my pesky cylinder 6 has been a thorn in my side ever since I bought the wagon about a year and a half ago. A few months after I bought it it misfired on 6 so I replaced all the coils and plugs like I planned to anyhow. The wagon has always been an oil drinker, and I was smelling burning oil after running it hard, but a month or so ago it misfired on 6 bad, enough that the plug wasn't usable. I thought, it's been a year so I'll put in a new plug and not worry. Two weeks later, it misfired again and I knew what had to be done: valve cover gaskets. I really don't like cracking the engine open but it's really a life or death situation for the motor. Luckily, the front three cylinders are very easy compared to the back 3.

Thanks to @bluedevil6 and his fantastic guide, it wasn't bad at all and it was incredibly satisfying cracking the cover's seal and peeling it off 😀 You can maybe tell from the picture that cylinder 6 had more crud around it where oil was likely seeping into the plug tube. The only worry I had is that every bit of plastic under the hood is incredibly brittle due to age. I cracked a couple tabs and even damaged a wire, but nothing a little (or lot) of electrical tape can't fix!

So after a day of driving, I haven't smelled any oil at all and no CEL. I'm hoping that oil consumption has slowed or even stopped. Fingers crossed!
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I hope that It helps it out a little. I was a bit nervous when I did my gaskets as well. I did them when I had to do my injectors beings that I already had access to the rear at that time. I still ended up undoing the top right mount and dropping the engine slightly to get the back one out. What a pain the 6 is to work on at times. Who puts the alternator right next to an exhaust manifold on the backside under a bunch of crap 🤣 🤣
 

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Discussion Starter #53
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I have to say my combo of Chemical Guys sealant and Car Guys "hybrid wax" has held up remarkably well over the past 5 months! Look at that rain still beading! And it's only been washed one time. I guess I'd have to recommend these products.
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Discussion Starter #54
Last night I treated the wagon to some "stick juice." Options are pretty limited, but I always see MT90 come up in recommendations. I got three bottles off an eBay seller for about $48 shipped, which is a fine deal. The old fluid was very dark and STANK, like almost a sulphury, rotten egg kind of smell. Nasty! I was glad to get that crap out of there. Shifts feel exactly like before, which works for me.
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Last night I treated the wagon to some "stick juice." Options are pretty limited, but I always see MT90 come up in recommendations. I got three bottles off an eBay seller for about $48 shipped, which is a fine deal. The old fluid was very dark and STANK, like almost a sulphury, rotten egg kind of smell. Nasty! I was glad to get that crap out of there. Shifts feel exactly like before, which works for me. View attachment 238348
If I may ask, how many kilometers (or miles) have you driven before replacing your transmission fluid?
 

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Discussion Starter #56
If I may ask, how many kilometers (or miles) have you driven before replacing your transmission fluid?
I've only had the car about 10k miles. The previous owner replaced the clutch 4 or 5 years ago (I have the service record, I'd have to double check to be sure of the date and mileage) so that would be the last time the fluid was changed. I wanted it to have new fluid for the upcoming winter, and at this stage in the car's life I don't expect I'll ever need to do it again.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
So I've been busy on the wagon this holiday weekend. I've been going back and forth on the EGR mod. And then I saw it: 100% blockage! That's weird, right? Off it goes!
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(Don't worry, I smoothed out down after cutting)
 

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Discussion Starter #58
And, even after replacing the valve cover and spark plug tube gaskets, the wagon is still using oil. I don't know if the clogged EGR was contributing, but it's likely the piston rings are just worn from age. I figured at least I can prevent oil vapor from getting burned and yucking up the intake. So, I gave the wagon a new PCV valve and added...an oil catch can!
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It can't hurt, and it was like $22 from Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
A month or so ago I bought a set of
Nexen Winspike studded snows off a guy on Facebook marketplace. They seem to only have been used a season. They looked in good shape and I didn't see any plugs. $120 for all four--score! There's supposedly a bunch of snow coming Monday and Tuesday, so I'll get to see how they perform in real winter conditions now that they're on the wagon.
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Discussion Starter #60
Daylight shot:
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