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Mazda 6, 1st Generation – Rear Shock Replacement Removal and Installation

Applies To:

2002 – 2008 Mazda 6, 2006 – 2009 Ford Fusion & Mercury Milan

Vehicle In This Guide:

2006 Mazda 6 / 2.3L engine / 5 speed manual / 96,000 miles

Recommended Tools:

  1. 3/8″ ratchet with 14mm, 15mm sockets.
  2. 1/2″ ratchet with a 18mm socket.
  3. 14mm, 15mm open ended wrenches
  4. breaker bar or a cheater pipe.
  5. universal joint adapter so that you can reach one of the bracket bolts.
  6. safety glasses to prevent debris from falling in your eyes.

Parts Needed:

  1. Mazda Rear Shock – OEM part number GR1L-28-700A

Introduction

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. The rear shocks on the Mazda 6 are mounted to a bracket. You have to remove the bracket and shock as one unit.

Rear Shock Removal

1. Raise the rear of the car and support with jack stands. mazda 6 rear suspension

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. mazda-6-rear-shock-mount

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. mazda-6-rear-shock-bracket

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. mazda-6-rear-shock-bracket-bolts

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. mazda-6-rear-shock

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.

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9 Comments
  • I wrench for a living and those instructions are spot on. For the life of me a can’t under stand how ford could setup the suspension that way? Add in super fucked, seized to the sleeve bolts and those stupid hooks on the top bracket piss me off too! Venting…

  • great write up! Maybe you could post some pictures to remove the control arm. This is a terrible suspension set-up. worried that Im gonna strip some bolts

  • Another tip I would add is to bend back that little wire hook/end that goes into the frame ( On Mazda) -or remove it all together. It makes the bracket removal somewhat easier.

  • I’ve done both shocks on my 2006 Mazda 6s and thought it wasn’t bad at all. Wiggling the bracket out was the hardest but putting it in went ok. I removed the upper control arm as I needed to change . Also I cut off the little bracket before putting it back. I’m no mechanic but taking my time I went through it ok.

    Thank you for the post, it really helped.

  • Some thoughts on this job. The write up above is pretty much spot on, but from my recent experiences:

    1. Liberally apply penetrating oil to the lower shock bolts and shock mount bolts well beforehand. Like a week or two, especially on the lower bolts.

    2. Secure additional lower shock bolts and nuts before tackling this job. On my rust free west coast car, one bolt was rusted solid in the shock sleeve and had to be cut off, and the other was horribly over torqued from the factory and deformed.

    2. The lower bolt nuts have a welded on keeper to keep the nut from turning. This will deform if you really have to bear down on the bolt. If that happens, you will need vice grips to hold the nut in place. You will likely need to heat the nut as well.

    3. Offset wrench and universal socket or socket adapter are a must.

    4. Lower the rear sub-frame to facilitate maneuvering the shocks out.

    5. Work slowly and methodically. Make sure you torque everything down as referenced in the article. It would be a shame to have to take it all apart again to tighten up a loose upper mounting bolt that rattles.

    Ask me how I know….

    Overall, this write up was bang on and super helpful.

  • My friend put struts in for me and I have a rattle so I took the tire off and the bolt at the top of the strut possibly the bracket one is rattling. What is your best suggestion on how to handle that. Cause I can’t get a wrench up in there.

  • A grinder is a must for struts/shocks in the midwest. You’ll be snapping bolts and having sleeves to grind guaranteed. I just unbolted the front of the control arm, that made enough room for getting at that damn bolt above the other end of the control arm, and for removing the bracket. This job is a nightmare!

  • Great write-up and detail of the rear shock replacement on the 6! Thank you!! Invaluable and the best written or video tutorial on how to do the job.

    If I may add one bit of (cautionary, experiential) advice … When reinstalling the three (3) retaining bolts for the upper shock mount, ensure that they are threaded INTO the subframe several millimeters by hand/manually and NONE of them are tightened so as to in any way retrict repositioning/a lignment of the upper shock mounting bracket. Any limitation of upper mount repositioning may prevent a bolt from being started cleanly.

    I had a bolt threaded by hand, and only when utilizing a ratcheting combination wrench on the bold discovered that it was crossthreaded. I tried numerous times to rethread it to access and secure the bolt with the original female threads with no success. The next day I got a 10 x 1.50 mm hardened grade 10.9 bolt, and a 3/8″ x 16 TPI body bolt (a 10 x 1.50 mm nut threads on cleanly and completely) with integrated washer (GM) that has a conical (pointed) nose. This bolt has a 9/16″ head (14 mm) so is entirely mechanically compatible with the OEM metric bolts – just a different color. I aligned this body bolt perpendicularly to the subframe/mounting bracket, and it threaded cleanly and securely to restore the original female mounting threads in the vehicle subframe on the first try. Not only did it save my dumb ass, but it makes me look intelligent in resolving this problem.

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