Mazda 6 Forums banner

OEM or Aftermarket Springs? That is the question

1467 Views 11 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  wrwaustralia22

I've got a 2016 Mazda 6 Sport that I've been dumping too much money into, trying to make it more fun to drive. I replaced almost all of the front suspension/alignment and for the struts went with Bilstein B6s, but used the original springs. I replaced the mounts with KYBs (after reading reviews it looks like that might have been a poor choice), along with new lower control arms, outer tie rods, and new swaybar links.

Now I'm sourcing parts for the rear and I just got the Bilstein B6 rear shock absorbers to match the front struts. Since I would have to compress the original springs again, replacing them altogether seems worth it if it makes the ride more enjoyable. About 90% of my driving is open road highway/country roads.

Any recommendations on springs? I would be open to aftermarket spring seats if there is any real reason to get them but was planning on buying OEM through MazdaSwag. I would prefer not to lower it more than an inch at most due to my driveway being a decent incline out and I have to hug one side already with stock ride height. I'm looking at parting with the original 17inch wheels and going with 16inch Enkei EDR9s or Konig Control 45B with either Pirelli P4 Seasons Plus or Michelin Defender H+T in 225/60R16s and am uncertain on how/if that would affect anything.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 4 of 12 Posts
Great that you're having fun with the car! How are you trying to make the car more fun to drive? Tell us exactly what you don't like and what you want to change - figuring that out will help you with what needs improving.

As for the smaller wheels, I would stick with your 17's or move to an 18" package (the stock 19's always seemed to be a bit overkill on the weight/sidewall compromise). If you were racing lightweight 16's would be better, but regular driving on real roads will reward shorter, stiffer sidewalls (better response). Adding sidewall adds compliance to the system and can dull out response and feel, everything else staying the same.

If your local weather permits it, go with a max performance summer tire (Pilot Sport 4S is my current go to) - you will gain sidewall stiffness and tire grip over an all-season. If you have a little bit of snow or just sustained cold weather (below 45F) and don't want to have summer and winter tire sets, look at high-performance all-seasons like the Michelin Pilot Sport 4S or Continental DWS06. The difference between those and the two you listed is quite large for grip and performance driving.

I'd probably stick with your stock springs; I've dealt with the scraping on a mild drop on my old 1st gen 6, and my stock height ATS and it sucks to deal with. I could dive into sway bar changes and chassis braces, but you really need to define what you want and the compromises you will make to get there.
Yeah the lowering part isn't really something I am chasing, but wasn't sure if there were springs that would give a little bit tighter suspension while maintaining OE height or close enough to it. I do appreciate the tire suggestions! I just moved to TN and was under the impression the 20-30 degree days were only once or twice a year but the last few weeks has proven otherwise! I would likely only have the one set of wheels as I would dump the originals and put it into the current or near future plans for this car. Tbh the 16" wheels were more to save a few bucks, which with what I am doing with the car seems futile.

As of the last few months this is what I have already done (put in the AEM CAI 70k miles ago):

-New front struts, mounts, strut bar
-New front lower control arms
-New outer tie rods
-New front swaybar links

Will be completed in the next few days and others within 2-3 weeks:

-Custom 2.5" exhaust with 2 Borla S-Type mufflers, Borla straight pipe, MagnaFlow Y pipe, Vibrant angled piping, and Borla 20248 tips (rear cat removal and resonator removal)
-EBC brakes/pads
-New wheels/tires
-Sound deadened half the car (2nd half this weekend along with 4 new door speakers and a 1000w amp)
-Interior personalization (blue LED lighting under front seats, and front footwells)
-Considering new headlamps

Plans for the next few months:
-Rear suspension replacement (already have the B6 shock absorbers but need control arms, lateral arms, strut bar)
-Tune through DrTuned (talking to a local shop about options there as they have a Dyno if we can work out a way to turbo this bishh)
-Body work to correct dents/paint repair (thinking about more like skirts or spoiler but nothing looks good and currently it's too slow to warrant it)

Pipe dreams of the future:
-Rebuild a blown motor to make the fastest 2016 Mazda6 Sport the world has ever seen (so like 240 horse would do it right?)
-Turbo or supercharge

See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
@ThatOneGuy93 Sounds good so far.
@Sydtron has some great advice.
Be sure that you did your final torque on all those bushings when they were at their normal ride height or they will all tear pretty quick.
View attachment 245159
Above is a new bushing that was about 0.5in from normal ride height when torqued. It lasted about 7,000mi
Ahh..looks like I will be jacking up the car again tomorrow to check on that as I was not nearly as careful as I should have been, and had a hard time getting a ratchet in there to tighten the swaybar links down. Sounds like I may need to redo them soon...
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Looks like you're being very thorough, that will be a cool build! What strut bar (F & R) are/have you done? As for springs there might be some out there with a mild drop but increased rate, otherwise you could look at coilovers down the road. I'd wait to queue up any suspension stuff past your scheduled the rear shock replacement; best to see how you like it and if you want to change it more before compromising the ride and NVH too much. If you need to scratch the itch though, there are a number of chassis braces you could throw on the car - I think Ultra Racing is still selling a number of them Ultra Racing Mazda 6. Find the part numbers and search around for best pricing/delivery.

As for the tires, if you don't really get snow you could get away with summer Pilot Sport 4S even if it gets below freezing a few days a year - I often end up running my summer tires in Michigan into freezing temperatures. Otherwise the Pilot Sport AS 4 would be a good match on your 17's if you still want some all-season-ability. I think you're going to be very surprised at what a difference those will make.

As for turbo/super, @WoodinvilleDan supercharged his car and it sounds like an absolute riot, plus it seems pretty straightforward on the install and integration.

You could always add a big brake kit to your dream list! I love the 4-piston Brembo's on my ATS; if I ever go back to a Mazda I'd definitely be looking at a multi-piston big brake kit right away.
I'm going to take your advice and just replace the shock absorbers with original springs and see how I like it first. As for the read strut bar, haven't even looked into it yet but it sounds like I was thinking of something else now that it's been pointed out that one doesn't exist...

Tomorrow's plan is to get my door speakers replaced, amp installed, more sound deadening, and front brakes/calipers. I have my exhaust getting thrown in on Wednesday and besides a couple interior add-ins, think I will wait a few months and get my tune done through DRTuned. That gives me time to plan out next goals and maybe take care of some mainanence items I should address (belts, radiator flush, brake flush.

Off to visual/audio to ask a repeat question of adding new speakers and amp using the PAC AOEM-MAZ2...still am not 100% certain I understand the process.
See less See more
1 - 4 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.