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Hey Everyone! Prepare for my novel, or just skip to the M6-specific bits after the "--".

My name is Joe, I am new to the forum, just picked up a Black on Black 2015 M6 Touring (Auto), 38k miles, last weekend. I live in Deland, FL, and work in Daytona Beach (likely starting a new position in Orlando next month). I am a Structures & Dynamics Engineer with a wife and 2 toddlers.

I have been interested in the GJ (is that right?) since they came out, almost purchasing a new one in 2014 to replace the Silver 2001 5-speed Miata I had in college, but ended up going with a cheaper, used, automatic 2013 Accord Coupe. Sold the Miata to a buyer in Salt Lake City, loaded it on the car hauler and said goodbye...because I was now an adult, engineer, and needed to grow up.

All of that turned out to be a mistake, I completely missed the Miata (especially seeing pics of it at Laguna Seca, living its best life), and couldn't stand the Accord. It was a perfectly good car, but un-engaging and its styling completely wore out in my eyes. If I would've gone with the M6, even an automatic, or a SEDAN Accord Sport with the 6MT, I would've been much happier. I ended up scooping up a '94 M-edition Miata, 5-speed...LOVE IT, lightly mod and wrench on it. The Accord coupe was useless for the family I was starting in 2015, so we traded it for a 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, great vehicle, fully loaded. While my wife stayed at home with the kids for 2.5 years, I commuted 50 miles a day in the Miata...it is still an amazing car, with all of its 220k miles.

To ring in 2019, my wife got a big promotion, but it requires a long commute. We had been carpooling to our jobs in the Hyundai for the past year, but now need 2 cars that can pull toddler-duty. So we traded in the Hyundai for a Lexus ES300h (which I must admit I completely love...I totally get the hybrid thing for people who need to commute so much) and I picked up the M6.

--

So that brings me here to the forum. I have been continuously active (as JoeTheZoe) on Miata net, Miataturbo, and basically stalking the classified ads on clubroadster since probably 2009 when I first got the '01 Miata. I had spent some time on Mazda247, where I met and engaged with some guys and gals from the wider Mazda community, but not too much.

Below are my plans for the Mazda 6, including issues I need to address and would appreciate anyone chiming in on them or directing me to a familiar thread/source, while I go through all of the forum searching and grinding through all I need to learn. It feels like a daunting task, but hopefully I will eventually know these cars as well as I know NA/NB Miata.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I really wanted a 6-speed manual Touring trim, but just couldn't find one and ran out of time. All of this could eventually be swapped to a 6MT GJ if I find that my Orlando commute does not have too much traffic (I will be avoiding I4, mostly on the beltway toll roads).

1. Paint/Body: Fully detail the car myself this weekend, address some light scratches, scuffs, and touch-up - I understand the paint is super thin on these. It has 2 quarter-/half-dollar-sized dents a few inches apart, on the driver-side roof rail, near the top of the C-pillar...I will get a quote with a PDR guy near me, but if he has to go in from below, I need to look at if there is reinforcement obstructing access from below and would pull the trim and headliner in that area myself before the actual work is started, at least to give him enough access. Looking at the online shop manual for pulling the trim and headliner up there looks pretty daunting.

2. Audio: Front Passenger Door Speaker (Bose) is rattling whenever light bass hits it...car sounds fine when I listen to podcasts on my commute, but once music is playing, it's rough. I am guessing the issue is consistent with what I've already read on the forum and will give it the quick-fix with super-glue this weekend, looking into replacing them whenever I find a reputable replacement...any suggestions?

3. Navigation: Figuring out the Nav SD card situation (I have the module, just no card present), which to order, whether it will work, and how to modify the files/formatting with the open-source code on github. I am a very capable coder, so I am looking into all of that right now...though I hear a lot of people advocating for just using a standalone GPS unit. Again, suggestions welcome.

4. Suspension/Wheels: Keeping the stock wheels for now, as I would prefer to spend such sums of money on my house, wife, and kids (or maybe on the Miata, as it can now take on race-car duty), but am definitely going to swap the studs, add spacers (15mm/20mm f/r), and lower the car on springs for now, just for aesthetics. I am trying to decide between H&R and Megan Racing springs, as I think Tanabe are a bit too mild for me, Corksport too low, H&R seem to be the happy medium, but are pricier than Megan, about which I can't find info yet on the forum. I think I would want a bit more rake than the H&R springs offer, so I would source some spring spacers, or thicker isolation bushings for the rear springs. I am super familiar with Miata suspension, but the M6 is a new world for me to grasp. I plan to go with the ARP studs used on the F-bodies (Part# 100-7708), as it seems that they should work, but I am trying to verify the knurl diameter for the GJ before pulling the trigger on that purchase.

5. Other: Some incremental mods on random items, such as scooping up some GT headlights with the projectors, blacking out their housings, OEM rear spoiler, OEM mudflaps, Door sill plates, maybe a small front lip, side skirts, rear trim/diffuser if I find some nice ones (just the really mild type of stuff you find from some modern OEMs, I loved those bits available on the Subaru BRZ), and other things as maintenance is required and whatnot...slowly moving to LED bulbs wherever possible (<5000K, I don't really like any blue hue on my cars), maye eventual exhaust, but would probably save that for if I find a good Manual M6 to swap mine for.

I look forward to meeting all of you on the forum and meeting some in-person along the way. Thanks!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you have a '14 or'15 GJ, then I believe the GT headlamps can be swapped-in. Not so for '16, '17, '17.5. I think. May also require wiring adaptation. Check this though... Welcome, BTW 馃槉.
Thanks! I will look into the wiring. I would plan to do the swap, then black out the stock housings to practice, before attempting on the GT lights. I did this on my 鈥01 miata back in 2012 and loved it. Came out perfect.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Awesome story and glad you're back in the Mazda family. My wife and I are penny pinching as much as possible to maybe, hopefully, someday, own an RF. We've rented one for a few days and were so in love that it's probably not a good thing :lol:

Definitely keep us up to date on your progress and let us know if you've got any questions.

Also definitely post up pics of your Mazdas past and present!!

I cannot confirm whether the GT headlamps are interchangeable or not, but my first inclination was to say 'no' because there does not exist an aftermarket GT-compatible headlight that I'm aware of - meaning the wiring is different enough that I don't know if non-GT models would have the necessary wires ready to go.
 

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Welcome! So you're keeping the Miata too, right (if I understand correctly)? Always gotta keep at least one manual car in the stable!
 

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I've come here from 7th Generation Honda Accords. I've owned three EX-L Sedans, 2004 K24 manual, 2007 K24 Manual which was totaled in 2011 and replaced with a low mileage 2007 J30 manual know as the six sixer Sedan only made in 2006 + 7. Really loved the Accords as my wife still drives a 2007 J30 automatic Coupe with 55K miles. Still a great car.

I never got into the bigger later Generation Accords and then Honda stopped making manual transmissions available in the EX-L. So it was on to my current M6 Touring manual. Welcome aboard!
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Awesome story and glad you're back in the Mazda family. My wife and I are penny pinching as much as possible to maybe, hopefully, someday, own an RF. We've rented one for a few days and were so in love that it's probably not a good thing :lol:

Definitely keep us up to date on your progress and let us know if you've got any questions.

Also definitely post up pics of your Mazdas past and present!!

I cannot confirm whether the GT headlamps are interchangeable or not, but my first inclination was to say 'no' because there does not exist an aftermarket GT-compatible headlight that I'm aware of - meaning the wiring is different enough that I don't know if non-GT models would have the necessary wires ready to go.
OMG. The RF is a beauty. We are in the same club there. I'll try to post up some pics tonight.

Welcome! So you're keeping the Miata too, right (if I understand correctly)? Always gotta keep at least one manual car in the stable!
Yes! I still have the miata and don't plan on selling it unless parking the M6 outside ends up hurting my soul too much. The ES and Miata have the garage. There is still the real possibility of me scooping up a 6MT M6 to replace mine at some point...we'll see.
 

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OMG. The RF is a beauty. We are in the same club there. I'll try to post up some pics tonight.



Yes! I still have the miata and don't plan on selling it unless parking the M6 outside ends up hurting my soul too much. The ES and Miata have the garage. There is still the real possibility of me scooping up a 6MT M6 to replace mine at some point...we'll see.
Build a new garage!

I hope time will come that I'll be able to buy a Miata. The Mazda 6 diesel is the "best of both worlds" for me.

It is a family car and offers great space for for my wife and two grown-up kids. Great fuel consumption on my everyday drive. When I feel like driving spiritedly, the car can give that exhilaration that I always wanted when I was a kid. The best part is, I was able to make it on track. For a beginner like me, I got this so called "beginner's luck".


So really, the best of both worlds for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Build a new garage!

I hope time will come that I'll be able to buy a Miata. The Mazda 6 diesel is the "best of both worlds" for me.

It is a family car and offers great space for for my wife and two grown-up kids. Great fuel consumption on my everyday drive. When I feel like driving spiritedly, the car can give that exhilaration that I always wanted when I was a kid. The best part is, I was able to make it on track. For a beginner like me, I got this so called "beginner's luck".


So really, the best of both worlds for me.
That's awesome! I am already looking for a manual touring model to replace mine.

I've come here from 7th Generation Honda Accords. I've owned three EX-L Sedans, 2004 K24 manual, 2007 K24 Manual which was totaled in 2011 and replaced with a low mileage 2007 J30 manual know as the six sixer Sedan only made in 2006 + 7. Really loved the Accords as my wife still drives a 2007 J30 automatic Coupe with 55K miles. Still a great car.

I never got into the bigger later Generation Accords and then Honda stopped making manual transmissions available in the EX-L. So it was on to my current M6 Touring manual. Welcome aboard!
I've seen those "six sixer" sedans a time or 2 on craigslist. A buddy of mine had a 2013 Coupe EX-L V6 6-Speed. I think I preferred the 7th gen styling over the 8th, but the 9th gen sedan has definitely grown on me over the years. Still adjusting to the 10g. As I stated above...I'm hunting for the right 2014-2017 Touring Manual.
 

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The thing about keeping the Miata in the garage is simple. On cold mornings, it is already warmer! Still trying to decide which one is the better commuter. My Miata is still breaking in at 148,000 miles, and only a 1996. Hope the 6's age as gracefully. With a 2017, the first big mod I want to do is the Entertainment SW upgrade. Mazda Nav sounds horrible. Would rather just display Waze.
 

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Welcome to the forum!

Awesome story and glad you're back in the Mazda family. My wife and I are penny pinching as much as possible to maybe, hopefully, someday, own an RF. We've rented one for a few days and were so in love that it's probably not a good thing :lol:

Definitely keep us up to date on your progress and let us know if you've got any questions.

Also definitely post up pics of your Mazdas past and present!!

I cannot confirm whether the GT headlamps are interchangeable or not, but my first inclination was to say 'no' because there does not exist an aftermarket GT-compatible headlight that I'm aware of - meaning the wiring is different enough that I don't know if non-GT models would have the necessary wires ready to go.

I wanted an RF but the deal on this lease return was too good to pass up. 2016 GT with 5,578 miles on it.







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The thing about keeping the Miata in the garage is simple. On cold mornings, it is already warmer! Still trying to decide which one is the better commuter. My Miata is still breaking in at 148,000 miles, and only a 1996. Hope the 6's age as gracefully. With a 2017, the first big mod I want to do is the Entertainment SW upgrade. Mazda Nav sounds horrible. Would rather just display Waze.
I could believe that. I haven't looked into the infotainment woes much for mine (or how they changed in 2016/17), but as I still have my eyes open for a decent deal on trading it in for a 6MT GJ, I won't worry about it. Going to do Tanabe springs or H&R (if I cant find the right spring seat/spacers to raise the back a bit, reintroducing the natural rake) and the wheel spacers may go on this weekend.

I wanted an RF but the deal on this lease return was too good to pass up. 2016 GT with 5,578 miles on it.
Darn beautiful.
 

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Finally have some pics to share. The 6 and the Miata, at least. Also, I picked up some second-hand bolt-on spacers (5x114.3, 67.1mm bore, 15mm/20mm f/r) and knocked all of the cheap studs out of them so that they are now just "slip-on" spacers, ready for when I swap the studs. Tanabe springs should arrive by tomorrow.
 

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Nice!


I had a 2000 Miata that I daily drove for about 8 years (2001-2009) also coming out of college. Went through a few different vehicles before ending coming back to Mazda with my 2014 6 Touring ATX about 1.5 years ago now. In some ways it is kinda like a grown-up Miata.


Anyway, your mod list sounds fun and attainable even with a family in tow. Just my opinion, but don't make the suspension too stiff if you ever want to take the family on trips in the 6.
 

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Anyway, your mod list sounds fun and attainable even with a family in tow. Just my opinion, but don't make the suspension too stiff if you ever want to take the family on trips in the 6.
Thanks! That's why I am going with the Tanabe springs, based on all of the reviews here. But I find it unlikely that my wife would allow us to take the 6 on a family trip rather than the Lexus...it's a different type of experience lol
 

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I ran Tanabe NF210 springs on a Scion xB with KYB shocks. It really felt like stock and not jarring at all. This with a very modest 1" drop up front and 1.5" in the rear which really helped the stance of that car. Shocks wore out pretty quick unfortunately and made the ride too harsh before I ultimately sold the car.



Also confirmed I never want to run a lowered car again for a daily driver, even with a modest drop. I don't like having to worry about driveways and driving on gravel roads, lol.
 

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@calcaneous I'm quite envious :)

Joe the Miata is super clean!
I just realized I am quite envious of that view behind his Miata too...I tried looking up where he is located on the forum but couldn't find...CO? And thanks, I have to decide whether to sell it for the down payment on replacing my 6 with a 14-17 6MT Touring (or should I consider a brand new 2018 6MT Sport?), or keeping it for a mod toy and autoX.

But mine is just so clean that I feel better about selling it to someone who wants it as a street car and if I really want a track car I will scoop up a much rougher one, potentially a branded/salvage/etc and in the meantime, the 6 ATX can be replaced with a MT and PARKED IN THE GARAGE. :grin2:

I ran Tanabe NF210 springs on a Scion xB with KYB shocks. It really felt like stock and not jarring at all. This with a very modest 1" drop up front and 1.5" in the rear which really helped the stance of that car. Shocks wore out pretty quick unfortunately and made the ride too harsh before I ultimately sold the car.

Also confirmed I never want to run a lowered car again for a daily driver, even with a modest drop. I don't like having to worry about driveways and driving on gravel roads, lol.
I feel like the reviews of those using them on GJs in this forum support that they are still very comfortable. The driveways and pitches are a concern, but the end of my driveway is pretty mild and I just LOVE the way these look when slightly lowered. The drop from the NF210 is even a compromise to me, as it is not as low as I would prefer, but definitely adds a bit of character. No gravel roads for me...ever.
 

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I just realized I am quite envious of that view behind his Miata too...I tried looking up where he is located on the forum but couldn't find...CO? And thanks, I have to decide whether to sell it for the down payment on replacing my 6 with a 14-17 6MT Touring (or should I consider a brand new 2018 6MT Sport?), or keeping it for a mod toy and autoX.



But mine is just so clean that I feel better about selling it to someone who wants it as a street car and if I really want a track car I will scoop up a much rougher one, potentially a branded/salvage/etc and in the meantime, the 6 ATX can be replaced with a MT and PARKED IN THE GARAGE. :grin2:







I feel like the reviews of those using them on GJs in this forum support that they are still very comfortable. The driveways and pitches are a concern, but the end of my driveway is pretty mild and I just LOVE the way these look when slightly lowered. The drop from the NF210 is even a compromise to me, as it is not as low as I would prefer, but definitely adds a bit of character. No gravel roads for me...ever.


.

Not CO.



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