The best Mazda 6 tuning modifications

"I'm too Sixy for my car"

The Mazda 6 is a good attack on producing an executive car. The car is well thought out and has a good range of engine options and a good chassis design.

However the 6 was not originally aimed a the performance market until in very recent times, and as a result the early models lack many of the interesting engine options available in other marques. That doesn't mean you can't tune them, you just have to try a bit harder, but you can create something special.

This shouldn't stop you as there is much you can do to improve your 6, you just have to pick your mods carefully and do them in the right order.

The drawbacks of the standard Mazda 6 is the lack of engine power and the soft suspension. Both of which can be easily addressed enabling the Mazda 6 tuner to build a good fun car.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

 

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for people often first priority in your Mazda 6 tuning project.

Fully adjustable suspension allows you to fine tune the handling of you Mazda6 greatly benefitting your drive.

We suggest that you fit modified suspension and lower the car by 24mm - 35 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with performance suspension.

Top end bhp should be your overall aim with a nice fat wide peak torque band.

With just a few mods you can change your Mazda 6 into a really fun car, potentially beating larger cars on the track.

Sadly with smaller engine sizes you are wasting your time spending money on modifications, so if this applies to you get yourself an engine swap then apply the following mods.

Engine tuning mods.

Anything less than the 2.0 NASP is a bit of a waste of time when it comes to tuning as the cost is quite high and the return in power is relatively low.

You might look to the other Mazda engine options to source a suitable donor and do a 2.3 Turbo conversion from the 3 range. Alternatively take the 2.0 engine and get the head polished, ported and gas flowed. Then add a fast road cam matched to some larger valves (with a 3 or 5 angle valve job)and you already have a nippy rev happy car.

First generation engines

Engine

  • 1.8 L MZR L8 i4 (gasoline)
  • 2.0 L MZR LF i4 (gasoline)
  • 2.3 L MZR L3 i4 (gasoline)
  • 3.0 L Duratec 30 V6 (gasoline)
  • 2.0 L MZR-CD i4 (diesel)

Transmission
4-speed 4F27E automatic
5-speed JF506E automatic
5-speed FS5A-EL automatic
5-speed G35M-R manual (I4)
5-speed A65M-R manual (V6)
6-speed AWTF-80 SC automatic
6-speed G66M-R manual

The Mazda6 MPS
Powertrain

  • Engine 2.3 L MZR L3-VDT Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) turbo I4

Transmission
6-speed A26MX-R manual

Second generation GH1 07-12

Engine

  • 1.8 L MZR L8 i4 (gasoline)
  • 2.0 L MZR LF i4 (gasoline)
  • 2.5 L MZR L5 i4 (gasoline)
  • 3.7 L Duratec 37 V6 (gasoline)
  • 2.0 L MZR-CD i4 (diesel)
  • 2.2 L MZR-CD i4 (diesel)

Transmission
5-speed manual
5-speed FS5A-EL automatic
6-speed G36M-R manual
6-speed AWTF-80 SC automatic

Third generation from 12-16

Engine

  • 2.0 L SkyActiv-G PE-VPS i4 (gasoline)
  • 2.5 L SkyActiv-G PY-VPS i4 (gasoline)
  • 2.2 L SkyActiv-D SH-VPTS i4 (diesel)

Transmission
6-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic
6-speed SkyActiv-MT manual

This list of the stages and performance upgrades are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you want to go before you begin.

Getting the correct grade of uprated parts for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 motor sport mods just don't work well on the road difficult in stop start traffic.

Typical stage 1 mods often include: Lighter flywheel, Remap, Sports exhaust, Alloy wheels, Suspension upgrade (drop 24mm - 35 mm.), Panel air filter.

Typical stage 2 mods often include: Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector, Power/Sport clutch, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades.

Typical stage 3 mods often include: Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Sports gearbox, Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam.

Peak power is nice in motorsport but for a daily driven car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The aim of our tips is to give a little insight into the world of car tuning performance parts and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best modified kits and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest power gains for your money as far as a solitary parts goes on a NASP engine.

The exhaust and intake valve timings play a big role in your cars power band, but be careful here, getting this wrong can upset the idle and make the car challenging to drive in traffic. You'd need to follow a camshaft upgrade with other mods and finish with a remap for the best performance gains.

Don't forget to pay attention to the fuelling when you are increasing the power - it makes the car more thirsty.

Frequently power losses, and erratic idling after uprated parts are done can usually be traced to timing or fuel delivery issues. To get sufficient fuel you may need to increase the injectors on your engine.

If you've uprated your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

Now we move on to the intake and exhaust and ensure proper flow through the engine. Air induction kits are only beneficial to boost power if the air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see NONE OF A LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL. If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for Mazda6 engines you should just fit a performance panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too large or you could very well end up with a reduced flow rate. So generally speaking, keep to 1.5 to 2.5 inches as a rule of thumb.

Getting a professionally gas flowed head with larger valves can fully maximise your power gains. A good heavy duty fast road uprated clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never make false economies or think that your standard clutch to cope. The best mods we would do for your Mazda6 are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

NASP engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give phenomenal power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block.

We've also seen some tuners experimenting with twincharging applications and making some very high power gains.

The most significant power gains for NASP engines usually involve the addition of forced induction. Turbos are generally harder to add than a supercharger. It is more challenging to map a turbo as the boost comes on exponentially with revs.

The nice correlating boost and rpm characteristics of the supercharger make them easier to map. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the engines compression ratio .

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels can help the brakes cool down and are generally lighter than steel ones. Pay attention to your choice of tyres (tires) for your car, a good directional tread pattern tire can really enhance your cars handling. The downside to large alloys on your Mazda6 is that you alter your final drive ratio so this will have a negative effect on performance and acceleration.

Due to this fact endeavour to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the standard factory sizes. In all cases avoid going bigger than 16 inches.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Mazda6 options in more detail with our Mazda6 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mazda tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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Your Constructive comments on this article




2 Responses to “Tuning the Mazda 6”

  1. kevin applegarth says:

    Hi I’m having problems with my engine management light being always on, also being hesssitance on setting off. The car has for a sports cat and air filter. I would like to know if the sports open filter can damage the air flow meter. Thks kev

  2. Joseph says:

    Hi I have 2009 Mazda 6 3.7 with a six speed atamatic I want get a stage 2 upgrade for my car do have any ideas how to put something together or any recommendations. thanks a lot

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