RE: Shed of the Week: Mazda MX-6

RE: Shed of the Week: Mazda MX-6

Friday 22nd February

Shed of the Week: Mazda MX-6

The MX-5 may receive all the classic Mazda attention, but there's plenty going for the 6 as well...



Have you ever watched one of those telly programmes where someone buys a car or house? To be honest, you'd be doing pretty well not to have seen one of them, as they constitute approximately 80% of all TV content these days.

Whether you like that sort of thing or not, there's always a sense of "I wonder what happened next" when the end credits roll. Every now and then they'll go back to visit those people who bought that lovely barn conversion in Devon, or that G-Wagen off Give Us Yer 'And!!! Brewer, just to see how they're getting on. When they do, you find that you hate them even more than you did the first time around, especially when it turns out that they haven't yet fallen on hard times. But then again that might just be Shed, who is quite a grumpy person.

Anyway, with this Mazda MX-6 we are able to trump all these lazy telly types by bringing you Shed of the Week's 'where are they now' update. Not with this particular example, admittedly, but rather with the dark blue one covered in this Readers' Cars thread which, a few months before PHer XJ40 (later Mycroft Ward, now MX6) started writing about it, had been featured in SOTW. We thought we'd give you a link to it as it gives you the chance to bone up on what life with an MX-6 might be like.


When MX6 bought the non-historied SOTW in November 2016 it had done 158,000 miles. After clearing out his inspection pit in readiness for a home service and the fitment of a new cat-back exhaust (the old one was rusty) he got some PH advice on an intermittent hot starting problem (PH-diagnosed as either battery earthing issues or the 6's famously leaky cam covers oil-fouling the HT leads). He also fitted a nice set of anthracite five-spoke RX-7 alloys (since replaced by Volk GTP split-rims) and dropped the ride height by 35mm.

By February 2017 MX6's fettled MX had become a PH Reader's Car of the Week. By the following month he had it back on the road having home-repaired the car's unusual spring-loaded VAF vane airflow gizmo. Unfortunately, that was a cost-saver too far as it failed its MOT on emissions, having failed a year earlier on the same grounds.

Undaunted, two and a bit years on, MX6 continues with the project - and how. He's done a huge amount of induction and fuelling work, with turbocharging on the agenda, all for remarkably small amounts of money. It's a fabulous low-cost/high-quality build thread on which Shed has just happily lost a couple of hours.


One of the shoutiest points arising from the forum posters on that April 2016 SOTW piece was RUST, and MX6 has had some of that underneath and on the arches and sills of his blue car. The one thing that comes across from his Reader's thread however is that the MX-6 is a very viable project car. Working on it seems relatively straightforward and the parts are readily available. He paid the princely sum of £83.42 (including postage) for all the bits needed for a cambelt change (three belts, idlers, tensioner and water pump).

The current owner of this red car is saying all the right things - garaged much of its life, mechanically sound, belts done in the last 3,000 miles, and most crucially no signs of rust. He does fess up to some lacquer peel and a bit of seat bolster wear, but most of us would regard this sort of thing as very much par for the course on a 23-year old Japanese motor.

The good things about the MX-6 engine are that it is a V6 with lots of tuning potential and that it slots quite nicely into an MX-5, where it will deliver more than adequate performance. In the bigger (but still not overly lardy) MX-6, you'd call it more relaxed than urgent. Even Mazda thought that, claiming a conservative eight-plus seconds for the 0-60 time in period. Evidently the press cars had something about them as Autocar managed to get it through the 0-60 run in 7.5-seconds, while another UK mag reputedly got it down to 7.2. That same mag gave the MX-6 the overall win in a five-car group test against the Honda Prelude, BMW 325i, Nissan 200SX and Vauxhall Calibra Turbo.


So spend a bit of time and money on it, as MX6 has, and you could come out with a rather lovely engine. Here's what it sounds like on individual throttle bodies. With this sort of stuff nailed on, along with the right headers and ECU, figures of 230hp are easily attainable. Turbo or supercharging are both very realistic options, too.

Not everyone loves the boomerang boot lid spoiler. Just imagine this red one with that (and any boot lid rust) removed, a non-granddad steering wheel fitted, and a set of BBS-style lattice alloys bolted on. Or you can just enjoy it as it is, a cruiser from a golden age of coupes that still looks graceful today - and that could look utterly amazing with the right mods. At the very least it's a nice all-rounder which, assuming the dreaded rust hasn't taken hold, shouldn't lose too much value. But that is a big assumption.

And if it does get written off, all is not lost. If you can find a 51-year-old writer called Peter, Paul or anything else beginning with a P, you might get a few bob for the reg number.

Here's the ad.



Author
Discussion

alorotom

Original Poster:

5,911 posts

126 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
Love the looks of these and always have done ... for some reason though I thought these were auto-only, god knows why!

Looks tidy inside too!

2smoke

74 posts

50 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
6 cylinders again. Nice one shed!

Bennyjames28

1,674 posts

31 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
Didn't even know they existed.

300bhp/ton

36,056 posts

129 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
Bennyjames28 said:
Didn't even know they existed.
Sister car to the Ford Probe and co-developed.

probably chalk

593 posts

131 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
alorotom said:
Love the looks of these and always have done ... for some reason though I thought these were auto-only, god knows why!

Looks tidy inside too!
Likewise, great looking cars. I was a uni when they were new and one was often parked outside our student house. I always thought it looked like something much more exotic.

Fast forward ten years or so and I needed a car at short notice. I went out with the express intention of buying a black MX6 that had been advertised at a dealer. But the dealer wouldn't let me test drive it because it would've meant moving other cars out of the way (what is it about the motor trade?). So I went elsewhere and bought a black Calibra instead...
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mackie1

7,669 posts

172 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
The best MX5 engine conversion is the 3.0 duratec from the Jaguar s-type. Go check out rocketeer who make the kit.

Cambs_Stuart

416 posts

23 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
Another great left field choice for a shed. 2019 has thrown up some really interesting choices.

richinlondon

93 posts

61 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
owned by Gareth Cheeseman's Japanese cousin.

GravelBen

13,655 posts

169 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
The KL-ZE is a great engine smile Smooth, revvy, nice sounding, tuneable... 200bhp as stock from an NA 2.5 V6 probably wasn't bad for the time, maybe the Probe would have done better with that version of the engine instead of the weaker KL-DE.

If only they had made the MX6 Rwd though, it could have been something more special.

MarJay

2,014 posts

114 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
A mate had one, in a light violet with white leather interior... *shudder*...

I drove it a couple of times. It wasn't all that I didn't think. Very squishy, not very communicative. Comfortable, but very vague FWD handling. His was a slushbox (that's why he bought it, he had a leg injury that necessitated an auto) admittedly, but it was nothing special. As a cheap car for getting from A to B it's fine, comfy quiet and sort of good looking, but certainly not the performance vehicle it's looks suggest.

ianwayne

2,132 posts

207 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
I had one for a few months in 2011. 122k miles, 1991 reg, won it for £380 on ebay. Had to get to Pembrokeshire from the West Midlands to collect. I was pleasantly surprised at its speed. I search now and again for another nice one but the 'nice' ones are a lot of money now, and quite rare. From well over 4000 in 2001 to about 500 left now.

Boot struts go weak, I reinforced mine with a bit of plastic pipe because but was one of the few things that wasn't cheap. Online Ford Probe specialists can get you cheap parts.

Sunroof edges very rusty, as were the rear wheelarches low down by the sill. Stereo was intermittent and the boot lock solenoid failed.

Sold it for £341 3 months later. I was moving house and it had to go. It was still on the road in 2018 with 138k on it but MoT expired 4 months ago.

There's one low mileage one (51k) on ebay for £1950. But it's auto, leather interiors aren't very common.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1992-Mazda-MX-6/2642015...tongue outf:0




heisthegaffer

1,086 posts

137 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
alorotom said:
Love the looks of these and always have done ... for some reason though I thought these were auto-only, god knows why!

Looks tidy inside too!
I'm pretty sure the MX-3 V6 is auto only

300bhp/ton

36,056 posts

129 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
GravelBen said:
The KL-ZE is a great engine smile Smooth, revvy, nice sounding, tuneable... 200bhp as stock from an NA 2.5 V6 probably wasn't bad for the time, maybe the Probe would have done better with that version of the engine instead of the weaker KL-DE.

If only they had made the MX6 Rwd though, it could have been something more special.
Not sure, was the 200hp available outside Japan? I don't recall it being available in the UK, only the 164hp engine.

yonex

13,353 posts

107 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
We had one of these at work. It was very smooth and reasonably quick for what it was. Lovely noise as well. I recall the mpg being fairly poor and that this particular car eventually was sold when the big ends started knocking. Quirky car.

douglasgdmw

404 posts

158 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
Lovely cars, remember the days when I was contracting in the 90's and a small number of us in the office had a variety of 90's coupes:
MX-6 V6, Calibra 2.0 16v, MR2 GTi-16 and Audi 2.3 Coupe

Unfortunately I ended up with Calibra (which turned out to be a lemon) but was always envious of the V6 engine in the MX-6.

George

frodo_monkey

580 posts

135 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
heisthegaffer said:
I'm pretty sure the MX-3 V6 is auto only
My dad had one, 99% sure it was manual.

s m

17,238 posts

142 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
heisthegaffer said:
alorotom said:
Love the looks of these and always have done ... for some reason though I thought these were auto-only, god knows why!

Looks tidy inside too!
I'm pretty sure the MX-3 V6 is auto only
Definitely did manual MX-3 V6 as well

Dr Nookie

109 posts

139 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
I had an early - non leather - silver one many years ago.
I absolutely loved it.

Engine was incredibly smooth and refined and it made a terrific cruiser.
The only weak point I noted was the back box - I rusted through 3 I think. In the end got a scorpion stainless replacement which added a suitable beefy tone.

I regularly got stopped and asked about it. Always positive comments.

greenarrow

1,557 posts

56 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
Another great Shed and a reminder of why I have a real soft spot for Mazda. They have a history of producing niche interesting cars like the MX-6, MX-3, etc amongst the bread and butter stuff and do their own thing. I remember these cars being quite popular amongst directors at my firm back in the early 90s and as others have noted, they ranked favourably in the comparative road tests of the day. Looking forward to next weeks SOTY already.

carinaman

13,207 posts

111 months

Friday 22nd February
quotequote all
s m said:
heisthegaffer said:
alorotom said:
Love the looks of these and always have done ... for some reason though I thought these were auto-only, god knows why!

Looks tidy inside too!
I'm pretty sure the MX-3 V6 is auto only
Definitely did manual MX-3 V6 as well
Seems the V6 had quicker steering too:

https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/archive/article...

Does the dashboard photo show a manual gear lever?