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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-07-2019, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Add a Subwoofer 2018

This thread is dedicated to adding a subwoofer to your 2018 Mazda 6. Please feel free to add anything that will help contribute to the effort. I have experience with car audio so please do not do anything that your'e not comfortable with. You can always stop and ask for help or take it to a car audio professional but you can't un-break things as easily. This thread starter is more of a discovery post. Hopefully we can learn from each other and also save some folks from wasted time and effort. This is related to the 2018 6 GT and above with the Bose system but is not limited to only the Bose.
The goal for me is to add a sensible sub to the car without cutting or splicing into the factory wiring but with the MAZ2 not fitting this car I'm thinking that I'll have to splice into it. I've emailed PAC but have not received a return email and it's been 5 days.

This is what we know so far.
The PAC ADD-MAZ2 harness/OEM-1/LOC (hence forth will be referred to as "MAZ2" that we have used in the past year models will not work on this car. (works for 2012 M3 non Bose and 2014 M6 GT with Bose for sure because I've done it)
There is a connector behind the Tablet/HU,
[IMG][/IMG]

another in the passenger kick panel and another plug behind the glove box on a silver box.
[IMG][/IMG]
All three of these connectors look the same from my quick inspection. I've checked and they all have changed on the 2018 to a smaller connector so the old one will not work. This next pic shows the difference between the MAZ2 connector and the new smaller 2018 connector.
[IMG][/IMG]
Here below is where I used pry points to disassemble the dash partially. One word of advice. It is hard as hell to get the HU/tablet plugged back in so try to use one of the other connection points if you can. If you are planning on doing any disassembly, search for a "plastic pry tool kit" from amazon to help with prying sections off. They are as low as $10 and can be use to pry off the interior light covers for LED changes and many other things..

Start with the padded section working your way from the passenger door towards the radio. (very easy) Sorry no picture.
After the pad is off, use a plastic pry tool to get behind the AC vent panel. This plastic does not seem too flexible. I had no problems taking it off being careful.
[IMG][/IMG]
Next, pull the vent section off in the same manner. There are some places to get your finger in to snap this section free working from side of the car into the center.
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
Once you get to the side nearest the steering wheel there is a little flap that you have to angle the panel as it comes off. Here is a picture of the vent assembly.
[IMG][/IMG]
After that you are done with that section.
There is one nut holding the tablet/HU in. The nut is between the AC vents. It's like 10mm if my memory serves me correct. If you pull on the tablet area slightly, it will come out exposing the wires on the back typical to a normal car stereo. See the first picture.
The tablet is fastened to a regular type head unit an looks kind of like an L shape with the bottom of the L going into the dash and the side of the L being the screen..

*** Now that all that being said, I would not recommend going this route to access the wires in back of the Head Unit. It's very tight and there is hardly any slack in the wires. There is no reason you couldn't use the wires by the passenger kick panel. The plugs look the same and they are much much easier to get to. There is also the possibility of splicing into the signal after the Bose amp under the seat.
[IMG][/IMG]

I'm posting this to save y'all from doing extra work that isn't necessary. Reading a 10 minute post may save you from doing an hour or 3 worth of pointless disassembly and risk breaking something in the focal point of the car..

My next job will be to find out where to splice into for the signal and power turn on. It would be swell if someone already knows this and can add the info to the thread. I'm leaning more to splicing after the Bose amp so that my added subs are getting the signal after processing but I'm not married to that idea. Please by all means share any information that has value for everyone's benefit.
I will add more as I get deeper into the install.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 08:44 AM
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The panel removal steps are awesome. Thanks for posting!
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 11:41 AM
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Thanks for starting this thread. As I mentioned in another post, I ran into this last weekend. I finally got some time to use the PAC adapter and install my sub but didn’t get very far. The hardware under the dash of the 2018s is different from the other third gens. I’m looking forward to seeing how this topic progesses.

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 12:39 PM
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My contribution is below...
The original documents were graciously provided to me by a very helpful person on reddit. He was sending me pictures from his phone so some were a bit cutoff and therefor I compiled the data below which is a little easier to read. If anyone wants the non-marked up images feel free to let me know. Also, I've verified a lot of the outputs myself so I know this diagram is accurate.

A few notes about the diagram:
  • If you plan on adding a sub after the amplifier, you'll need to tap into the front door speakers as shown at the top of the diagram (pins 3C, 3D & 3E, 3F from connector ...-322C). I can confirm these do contain the low frequencies. Now the audiophile facepalm here is the tweeters are also driven from these channels, which means there's a crossover network somewhere in the doors most likely. While you can tap off these pins at the amplifier, make sure you have good noise isolation with the equipment you're using otherwise it's very likely you'll introduce some unwanted alternator noise coming from the tweeters. I recommend powering and/or grounding your LOC using the same power and ground for the amplifier.
  • The rear deck speakers I didn't get a clear image of primarily because I wasn't really looking for that info at the time. You'll notice they're not on the diagram. I'm 95% confident at least one of them is driven off pins 2O, 2P from connector ...-322B. The problem here is the wiring colors at both the speakers (visible from the trunk) are both P and V. I thought the channels were independent, but not totally sure now. The only remaining pins that could go to the other rear deck speaker are 1G, 1H from connector ...-322A. These are the only pins I truly do not have data for. Maybe someone else can help with that? (It's also possible those pins are for the AudioPilot microphone for the active noise-cancelling.)
  • Pin 2D is ACC and functions as a switched +12V exactly as expected. It can be tapped into and used for amp remote turn-on.
  • Pins 2I, 2G from connector ...-322B are center channel (also not originally shown on the diagram). I have verified this both visually at the speaker and via multimeter. (L is blue, BE is beige in case you're wondering. )
  • Pin 2J from ...-322B is still populated despite being labeled as not used. Yeah, idk either.
  • Just an interesting thing I noticed: The wire gauge for pins 3G, 3F (rear driver-side door speaker) is lower than the wire gauge for 2A, 2B (rear passenger-side door speaker). Not totally sure why this is. Perhaps they needed the thicker wire for a lower impedance since it has to reach all the way to rear driver-side door... and then left the thinner wire for the passenger-side since it doesn't have as far to go? Strange.
I largely feel like the Bose engineers just stuck outputs and inputs wherever they saw fit. If there's a method to how any of that design works then I've no idea what it is. In my opinion each connector should have been dedicated for a specific purpose (speaker outputs on one, data on one, power control on one, etc...). Why it is the way it is just doesn't make sense, but that's how they did it. Anyhow, enjoy!


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Last edited by MZ6Alex; 02-08-2019 at 12:50 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-08-2019, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks MZ6Alex. This is good info my man! I will try to digest this diagram tonight and see if it's warm enough to do some tests and run some wires tomorrow.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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Finished my install mostly

Ok Iím all done, well mostly. I have a few things to button up and to build a little amp rack but the main work part is done. For me I wanted to add more low end to the system. The Bose setup is nice but it lacks punch and like most folks, I wanted more bass. Not so much to draw attention like some do at a red light or whatever but just to make my music sound like it should. Iím a musician and IT guy on a budget.
I chose the parts based on a cost to performance ratio. The amp I used is a BOSS Riot 1100 monoblock. It was $50 on Amazon. Iíve used this amp in my little truck on a pair of 8Ē subs and it was very surprising so I went with the same thing in my car. I know itís a fonky cheapo amp but itís pretty freaking awesome for the money. Iíve had nice gear in many cars. JL, Focal, Polk etc so a good idea of what good sound is. This build is awesome for the money. You can also use this info and change out the components if you want better stuff. Letís be real here this is the one income household version. 😊
For the subs I went with two 10Ē Rockford Fosgate R2-D2 subs. These were chosen for the same reason affordable and good quality. A while back I helped a 16 yr old kid set up a budget system in his car and we bought these same subs and they were surprisingly nice so I went with them. I got a prefab box Belva BBX210BK from Sonicelectronix for $60 and had no issues with it getting here fast and undamaged.
The amp kit I got is from KnuKonceptz. Itís a 4gauge kit and has good stuff in it. I didnít notice that this kit was CCA power/ground instead of OFC but ohh well itís done and Iíll say the cables were very easy to manage and of high quality.
18 Feet 4 Gauge Ultra Flex RED KCA Power Wire
3 Feet 4 Gauge Ultra Flex Black KCA Ground Wire
One inline fuse holder with 80A AGU Fuse
One 17 Foot Black Bassik RCA Cable
20 Feet Bassik Black 14 Gauge Speaker Wire

The LOC I used was Metra and bought from Oriely auto parts a mile away from my house.
Now for the install information.


Get an old blanket or cushion to kneel down on, my old knees thank me as I had to sit right outside my car for a while getting the power wire ran and the wire taps connected. The first thing I did was to decide where I was going to get the signal and remote wire from. Thanks to MZ6Alex for the awesome wire diagram and his wire identification notes. The diagram is in this thread a couple of comments up. This diagram gave me all the info I needed to get started.
I unbolted the passenger seat and decided to just lean it back instead of unplugging the seat connections and remove it totally. You will need a Torx socket to unbolt the seat. E12 is what you need.
[IMG][/IMG]
Here is a picture of what the Bose amp and wiring harnessí look like and also took pics of all sides of the Bose amp for science. I have the model info and stuff from the label.
[IMG][/IMG]

Notice my very helpful blanket/knee protector.



I decided to grab the signal from the plug that has the high output after amplification. This is the plug with the big red power wire that you can see clearly in the picture. I used the BR/SB and the Y/G wires to tap into from Alexís diagram.
Thatís the yellow/green pair and the blue/brown pair. I tested this signal on a coaxial speaker I had and I can confirm by ear that the signal is full range. Even though these sets of wires go to the door subs, they had lows and highs. This means there must be a passive crossover for the door subs I guess. The wires are taped together in the pairs that go to each speaker which is nice. I removed that tape to give me space for the blue taps.

The way they wrapped the wires for each plug is to wrap them separately with a canvas type flex loom and they taped it closed periodically with fancy high-grade electrical tape. Be careful and cut the tape and peel back the canvas loom to give you some room to work. Try to stagger your taps if possible so that they fit back inside the loom.

I used the purple wire (1 of 2 so get the right one) on the green middle harness to get the remote power turn on. I checked with a multi meter and it worked as expected. SCORE! Also, the wire is pretty thin but the blue wire taps worked with no issue. I did consider getting this from the fusebox since itís right by the power wire but I could not find a good fuse that works like you would expect, only when the car is on. They were all always hot or at least from my 5-minute check with the multi meter but I digress.

I routed these wires to the LOC and used double side tape to stick the LOC to the top side of the plate that the Bose amp is mounted on. The LOC I have had a ground wire you can use if you have engine noise but I did not need/use it. I taped up my loop with the taps in line and moved on to the next step.

I tested that everything still works before I moved to the power wire install. For the power wire I used the rubber boot behind the steering wheel to get through the fire wall. Remove the car battery and you will see a rubber boot going into the cab behind the steering wheel. Go under the steering wheel in the cab and un-tape the electrical tape holding the boot around the wire bundle. It kinda opens up like a flower. See my blue coat hanger going right through it...

If you look close from under the hood you will see a little knobby tit thing on the boot. If you use some dikes you can snip the end of that little tit off and you will see a clear path to the inside of the car. (this was by far the easiest punch through the firewall that Iíve ever used on any car) I had a helper shine the light from in the engine compartment at the hole in the boot that I just snipped and I could see the light perfectly from inside the car. (while upside down under the steering wheel) Stick a coat hanger right through that hole from inside the car into the engine bay. I chose to go from inside the car into the engine bay to minimize how much wire I had to push/pull through that tight fit on the rubber boot. I pulled about 2 feet through. Now remember this hole is about 1/8 inch or 5mm wide so if you are running thick 4-gauge power wire you might have to use some lube to get that fat wire through the tiny hole. I used a few drops of Dawn soap and I was able to get it through without an issue. Just be sure to wrap your power lead around the straightened coat hanger and tape it up real good. Use the tape to make a tapered end to make it easier to push though.

Next, I taped up the boot inside the car (see blue electrical tape) and flapped the insulation back into place and I ran the power cable behind some electronics and fuse box then down the door sill towards the trunk.


I tucked it behind the middle side pillar and continued through the back door sill.

To get the wire through the back seat area and into the truck, I pulled the plastic cover between the seat and the door up to see where the clips were and snapped them free.
I used a phish rod (very handy item) to get the power cable through the side deck panel and into the trunk. Once you are into the trunk you can do what I did or come out anywhere else. I chose to go all the way back to the corner behind the tail light. Form there I sliced an H in the carpet next to the storage compartment and pushed the wire through. I found a screw with a 10mm nut on the frame near the tail light and sanded it down with 80g sandpaper and mounted my ground there. I put a little WD-40 on that sanded area after I made the ground connection so that is doesnít oxidize since Iím in the dirty south with high humidity.

My plan is to make a board like this guy on youtube.
But that will have to wait for tomorrow.
Now you will need to run the remote turn on and the RCA cables. (and bass knob if you have one. I forgot to run mine) I ran them from my LOC mounted to the plate by the Bose amp and the REM wire from the green plug on the Bose harness (see above), down the door sill just like the power wire except on the passenger side of the car. I pulled up the carpet by the Bose amp and door sill and tucked the REM and RCA cables and proceeded to the trunk in the same manner as the other side. I crossed over the trunk under the carpet by the spare tire and came out near where my power wire is. The cables in my kit were the perfect length and there is no stress on any cables. As you can see, the ground wire I used doesnít match. I had one from my 2014 M6 install and it already had a ring terminal on it so I used that one.
Well thatís all for tonight. Hopefully this will give someone information and help execute their install smoothly. I did a little testing and itís just what I was looking for. Itís a very noticeable and itís a much better upgrade to the bass. I will say that if you are trying to beat down the block, youíll need a bigger better amp and or subs but this is perfect for any sensible adult. Letís run the price numbers.
Amp: $50
Subs: $120 to both
Box: $60
Wires: $35
LOC: $25
Torx kit: $25
Thatís a little over $300

Stuff I already had: Sockets, razor, electrical tape, wire cutter/crimpers, pliers, wire taps, phish sticks, time.
I started this job today at 10am and finished around 8pm. While not the fastest install, I do think it was done with attention to detail and done well. Sure, I could have built a perfect box (for about the same price) and used some other components for higher bragging rights, but Iím happy with the end result. (almost end result.) I did a bass test sweep and it seems like the subs roll off around 37 Hz. Maybe tapping in on the signal input instead of the Bose output would be better but this might also be the box Iím using but Iím not going to re do the signal point just on a might be better. Itís fine as is. Still, itís 100 times better than without the sub upgrade. More to come with pics after I get that amp board done.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 02:05 PM
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@cotydlux You da man!! This is awesome… Thanks for taking the plunge and doing this. Looking forward to see the finished product.

Question for you .... I purchased a quick connect kit with posi-taps to tap into speaker signal, power, and remote lead. Posi-taps get bagged on but I’ve used them a number of times and have had no issues. I’m only powering a Bazooka tube.

Now that I know which wires or which, I could use a quick connector here. Any reason why I would not want to draw speaker signal or power from under the seat?

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 02:39 PM
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@cotydlux:
Install looks good! Happy to be of help!
KnuKonceptz is a great brand for wire. I also use their products myself, and it's some of the few wire companies left that actually follow proper AWG standards. Highly recommend their speaker wire and RCA cables as well. Subs are also a good choice. I used to run 2x 12" RK P2D2-12's a few years ago. The system was beyond ridiculous but it sounded amazing. I miss that system but I also don't miss the sub box taking up the entire trunk...

Only thing I disagree with is your amp choice. Boss is not known for being completely honest with their power output specs and their overall quality is not so good. This is why they're substantially cheaper than other name brands. Just something to keep in mind if you're ever in the market again.

One question I have though is where did you ground your amp? I'm also working on on adding a sub, but I haven't completely figured out this part yet.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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finishing up

Built the amp board today and finished up on everything. I also ran my bass knob too. Here are the phish sticks I used and the route I used to get them to the back. Same route as my power wire.

[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
[IMG][/IMG]
Here is where I made a cardboard jig and transferred the shape to a piece of plywood then cut it out.
[IMG][/IMG]
Next is the finished product. The amp board is wedged into the section pretty good but I used one screw that goes into the plastic backed carpet on the side. The screw is near my RCA's but not in the picture. I will probably shore up the amp board by mounting a 2x4 to the back side of the carper and then attaching my amp board to that.



[IMG][/IMG]
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trippp View Post
@cotydlux

Now that I know which wires or which, I could use a quick connector here. Any reason why I would not want to draw speaker signal or power from under the seat?
I'm not sure on how much power a Bazooka will use but the Bose power wire is pretty small. It would work but I wouldn't use it in conjunction with the Bose amp. It looks like 10 or 8 Gauge wire. Maybe someone with more knowledge can answer that. I wouldn't want to use a wire tap on the power personally.
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