New to Mazda with a high-mile '06 5mt Wagon - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2018, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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New to Mazda with a high-mile '06 5mt Wagon

Originally I was looking for $800-or-less beaters to give my daily/project/handling-toy Toyota Echo a break and have a back-up. Odd choice of car, I know, but with 550k miles on the body and having in the family since new, I've grown quite attached. In fact she has her own online following.

Anyway, the Mazda. We decided to splurge on something newer, safer, and more usable than the sub-$800 '91-'93 beaters like Paseo's and Escorts, and got it for $2,500. I'm mixed on whether it was a good choice, considering some of the cosmetic damage, but it drives well enough that it seems like just that.

It's going to be at 200,000 miles this week, and when I drove it out to show my parents the new purpose, I noticed a 5th gear pop-out. Odd for a "new transmission," though the clutch feels like it's truth. My guess is the dog-bone bushing I've read about could be a culprit (I'll be upgrading to an 88 poly soon enough). Also, the a/c doesn't work. Light stays on and everything, but I don't hear the compressor at all, and looking around up front (which is difficult compared to the fairly spacious Echo) the a/c condenser seems to be missing. The previous owner did say it had a new radiator... makes me wonder about the a/c then. Some rear left quarter damage means one of the OE smoked corners is now a chrome, which I'd like to address at some point for the aesthetic matching.

Tires are semi-performance m/s 215/50/17's that all match and are in good shape. She said the brakes are fairly new, but they feel "meh." I drive cars to and from dealers from a wholesale auction for a living, so I feel like there's better to be done in the braking arena. And of course the rear cargo cover is a non-retracting, slightly torn-up mess, but it'll do when parked.

Otherwise the car seems solid. No freakish issues, the windows all work now (though when I bought them they didn't... rear left didn't work at all, passenger front only worked from that side and not auto... now all is good). I look forward to learning a few things while we have it.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-09-2018, 05:20 PM
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Welcome to the Sport Wagon family!

A/C:
The condenser mounts to the front of the Radiator. Assuming you have the V6, if you look on the passenger side of the engine compartment, near the front, you should see a pressure connector (high pressure, I believe....). It's silver, hopefully with a black cap on it. That line goes from the compressor (bottom of the motor) to the condenser. You should be able to see the other end (going into the condenser) by looking just in front of the radiator support bar. However, pulling the entire front bumper might make it easier to inspect.

The rest of the parts are under the dashboard. From my reading of various posts, a TON of A/C issues revolve around the Evaporator Temperature Sensor Assembly. Which means the dashboard needs to be taken out to get to the unit.

5th Gear Pop-Out
I would check around in the MTX Transmission Discussion under 1st Gen MTX Transmission Discussion - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
Maybe the linkage?
Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum - Search Results

Smoked Tail Lights
The Wagon tail lights are only compatible with wagon's. So, when searching (ebay, craigslist, even junk yards), make sure the tail light came from a wagon

Brakes
I would try bleeding the system first.
You can also try flushing the system. A vacuum bleeder will speed things along, but a gravity bleed will also work. Keep in mind, the clutch system uses the brake system reservoir for fluid, so if you fully flush the system, make sure to flush the clutch system as well.

But, a complete visual inspection of the braking system would be a good idea. I do this with every car I purchase. Pull the tire, check the rotors for abnormal ware, that the calipers move freely in and out, and that the parking brake engages / disengages correctly.

Mine had new pads, but the passenger front rotor was actually broken in half, like in the middle where it vents ... first for me! The drivers side rear caliper pin got bent somehow, causing the caliper to do all sorts of fun stuff.

Rear Cargo Cover
Be glad you have one LOL! Hard to find now-a-days!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 12:58 AM
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Welcome to the group. I am a wagon driver as well and love the versatility.

Nice data drop @joe.skelly. Good info to help get bearings.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 08:51 PM
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 11:15 PM
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Welcome to the forum! As with @DrFeelGood I too have a wagon. Glad to see another wagon saved and on the road, and a five speed to boot!

I have a thread on here to collect pictures of all the wagons on here. Head on over and post up a picture or two.

http://forum.mazda6club.com/mazda6-a.../topics/426057

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-10-2018, 11:18 PM
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PS... on the AC... it is likely worth it to have someone pull a full vacuum to check for leaks and then place a full charge with leak dye. Mine was low when I bought it and they just pulled a vacuum and charged. It's been good now for two years.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Never thought to come back here with an update, and new-guy threads pile up fast!

A/C: when the old owner had the radiator replaced, I'm pretty sure the shop didn't do the a/c up right. There was a bolt missing at the high-pressure end, by the radiator. I didn't notice, and the line blew apart during a charge. Got a bolt, had someone do the charge for me, and it leaked out over the weekend (but he did know there's a leak, so the dye is already a thing).

Dogbone has been done, but still some clonk. It was an upgrade to a mild poly. Didn't fix the fifth-gear, but as you guys said, it's probably the synchros.

Brakes... they work, just not a fan of them. I think it's just cheap pads. It's kinda like how I don't like the Scion FR-S' brakes... it's not that they're bad, it's just they don't seem good enough for the application.

Shift cable snapped at the transmission end going from second to first, and I've zip-tied the bejeezus out of that mess to hold it back in place. What a godawful design on that part... usually any time my Echo has that sort of issue, the plastic snaps in the shifter end, not the tranny. For some reason the battery tray was held in with a 10mm nut on the front, and an 11mm on the back... odd.

Also gutted the intake from the resonator box thing inside... do like the sound a bit more, now, but it does still have an exhaust leak that makes it sound a bit like a lawn mower under 3k rpm.

  • -'06 manual S wagon (Morena), bought with 200k highway miles. Just looking to maintain and mildly improve (planned upgraded Dog-bone, maybe a resonator delete), not modify too much. It's the back-up car, parts runner, relative cruiser of my fleet.

    -My never-parting-with toy/project is a 2000 Toyota Echo Coupe manual (Pheobe) with 550k and climbing on the body (original engine gone at 475k miles). A bunch of chassis and interior improvements via Scion/Toyota parts bin and aftermarket.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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Another thing I'm wondering about would be suspension. I feel like the front end is too jittery on broken pavement. I'd like to know what are some tower braces to try and mitigate some of that. Upgrading the shocks with step-up Bilsteins is something I'd be willing to do, and have OE bushings all replaced front and rear. Not interested in lowering/stiffer springs, though anti-roll bars are of interest (there have been some front and rear anti-roll bars on CL for an alright price). The car has good enough rotation and has surprised me with how balanced it can be so far on ramps. Some quicker centering from the steering would be nice, and less roll... my Echo definitely rolls less, but then I've done that thing up like crazy.

  • -'06 manual S wagon (Morena), bought with 200k highway miles. Just looking to maintain and mildly improve (planned upgraded Dog-bone, maybe a resonator delete), not modify too much. It's the back-up car, parts runner, relative cruiser of my fleet.

    -My never-parting-with toy/project is a 2000 Toyota Echo Coupe manual (Pheobe) with 550k and climbing on the body (original engine gone at 475k miles). A bunch of chassis and interior improvements via Scion/Toyota parts bin and aftermarket.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-18-2018, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvey View Post
Another thing I'm wondering about would be suspension. I feel like the front end is too jittery on broken pavement. I'd like to know what are some tower braces to try and mitigate some of that. Upgrading the shocks with step-up Bilsteins is something I'd be willing to do, and have OE bushings all replaced front and rear. Not interested in lowering/stiffer springs, though anti-roll bars are of interest (there have been some front and rear anti-roll bars on CL for an alright price). The car has good enough rotation and has surprised me with how balanced it can be so far on ramps. Some quicker centering from the steering would be nice, and less roll... my Echo definitely rolls less, but then I've done that thing up like crazy.
Great ideas. Here is a little of what I have learned.
http://forum.mazda6club.com/suspensi...ml#post4832385

http://forum.mazda6club.com/suspensi...ml#post4897873

http://forum.mazda6club.com/suspensi...ml#post4866665

As for your exhaust leak, check the manifold stud over the alternator. Many have sheered and are sitting on the alternator itself. Hopefully not.


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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-19-2018, 09:35 AM
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Welcome to the forum!

Looks like the wagon guys have you covered haha. Good luck on everything!

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