Applies To: 2002-2008 Mazda 6, 2006 - 2009 Ford Fusion & Mercury Milan
Changing the rear shocks is usually a fairly easy and quick job. Not so on the Mazda 6, Fusion, and Milan. You'll be dealing with rusted bolts, tight quarters, and debris falling on your face. So to make this job easier on you, I'm going to list a few things that you will want to get before you start this job. The rear shocks on the Mazda 6 are mounted to a bracket. You have to remove the bracket and shock as one unit. You will want to have:
- 3/8" ratchet with 14mm, 15mm sockets.
- 1/2" ratchet with a 18mm socket.
- 14mm, 15mm open ended wrenches
- breaker bar or a cheater pipe.
- universal joint adapter so that you can reach one of the bracket bolts.
- safety glasses to prevent debris from falling in your eyes.
Rear Shock Removal
1. Raise the rear of the car and support with jack stands.
2. Remove the lower shock mounting bolt (18mm). You will need to use a breaker bar as this bolt requires a lot of torque to remove, especially if you live in areas that have a lot of snow. When I removed this bolt I found that it got stuck half way through the shock so I had to hammer it out from the other end.
3. If you look up above the shock you can see the bracket that needs to come off. It is secured with three 14mm bolts. The image below shows one of the harder bolts to take out. You have several options - you can use an deep offset wrench, you can also use an open ended wrench but you have to be careful not to strip the bolt. And the last thing you can do is to remove the whole upper control arm. I really recommend you take out the control arm as it will make removing and reinstalling the shock and bracket much easier.
Here are the other two bolts. One is easy to get, just use an extension (#1). The other bolt (#2) you can either use an open ended wrench or a ratchet with a universal joint adapter to get it at an angle.
4. Once you have all three bolts removed, you have to guide the bracket and shock out. There is not a lot of room and if you did not take out the control arm it is a real pain to wiggle the bracket and shock out. This will probably take the up the bulk of your time. If you plan to remove the control arm, they are secured by 15mm bolts.
5. You should now have everything out. Time to install the new shocks. Before removing the old shock from the bracket, index the shock in relation to the bracket. You will transfer this index mark to the new shock. When reinstalling, make sure the shock is at a 118 degrees from the bracket. The shock is held by a 15mm bolt with an 18mm nut. When reinstalling the new shock, tighten the nut to 76 lb-ft.
6. Reinstall the bracket and shock and tighten the bracket bolts to 35 lb-ft (if you can even get a torque wrench in there).
7. Install the shock lower bolt but do no tighten it all the way yet. You have to make sure the suspension is in a neutral state before you can fully tighten the bolt. You can use a jack and compress the rear or just lower the car on its tires and then tighten the lower bolt to 85 lb-ft.