Soon after I got my new 2015 facelifted Mazda 6 (3rd generation) I decided to upgrade it’s sound system by adding a subwoofer, but I also didn’t want to sacrifice space in my trunk for it. In my previous Mazda 6 I had a factory installed Bose system and it was great, it had a subwoofer too, that was placed in the trunk in spare-tyre, so buying another one for this car looked like a no-brainer for me.
|Before proceeding, please consider this: information in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Use it at your own risk. I will not be held responsible for any loss and damage whatsoever caused by using this information.|
I searched local shops and found that there’s only one that would fit – Pioneer TS-WX610A, so I bought it. I also bought a set of some Supra “subwoofer install” cables, but it was unnecessary, because whole cable set was in the subwoofer box, but back than I didn’t open it yet.
Note, that this setup will work for both Mazda 6 versions – Bose and non-Bose. Also, both of them don’t have a subwoofer now, even the Bose one, I’m talking about 2015 facelift of 3rd gen Mazda 6. There are some settings in the head unit for Bose-equipped Mazdas, as I heard, that say “subwoofer”, but where is it physically? Anyway, mine didn’t have Bose and no such settings either.
Installation seemed to me like a rather risky endeavour, but it turned out to be quite simple. I never did anything like that to my car before, so no experience is needed (if your arms are in the right place :))
First, I installed the subwoofer in my trunk, looked like this:
To fix it in place I used the provided screws – some metal sticks, had to use the (also provided) “connector” to make a long enough screw and a plastic thingy that you see at the top with a nut over it for tightening.
Then I used my Supra set red wire to get the power from car’s battery, but you can use the provided cable (yellow one), it even comes with the in-line fuse already installed. Running cable whole way from the battery at the front to the trunk is the most difficult part of this install. I had to take the battery out to get me some space for work, but some people say you can manage without it.
If you unplug the battery, remember this rule: First you disconnect it’s (-) minus cable, then the (+) plus. When you put it back it’s the other way around – first (+), then (-). Then negative cable of the battery goes to car body and if you disconnect the positive first and it will accidently touch anything metal, while negative is still on the battery, you may burn something. BE CAREFUL.
Here’s a picture of the place where the battery was after I took it out:
In the top right part of the image you can see a ribbed pipe, it goes through the wall and comes out somewhere under the steering wheel, you can either try to fir your cable in this pipe, which will involve a lot of work removing the electrical tape and other stuff on the thing and pushing your cable through and then covering it all again OR you can do what I did and use a drill 🙂 To the left of the ribbed pipe you see a clear space on the wall with cross-shaped bump, I drilled between them from inside the car. Here’s a pic:
So I ran my cable through and then behind the panel where your inside fuse box is (there’s another one under the hood). If it isn’t obvious – it’s all on the driver side by the way.
Next step is removing plastic covering car frame and some wires in another ribbed tube under the door, have to repeat it for both doors on both sides. Then remove the black plastic cover on both central pillars (where the seatbelts are). Removal is easy, just pull – few clips here and there, they just come out, no real tricks.
After that it’s just a matter of pulling wires here and there. Getting them into the trunk is easy, you just do the following: get them to near that back seats first, fold the seats so you have some working space, then you need to pull a bit the part of the seat that’s left on the frame and with your other hand catch the wires on the other side, see pictures:
And the whole thing looks like this:
For negative wire I used one of the holes found behind the folded rear seats. Use some sandpaper to remove the paint around the hole for the contact to work and I used a 6mm screw with a long nut, but it seems like a 8mm would also fit, to get the screw into the hole from below I used a bigger one under it (see pic), I taped the screw to a small wrench since my fingers couldn’t fit in while holding the screw, you can try to find a better solution 🙂
Same way as you ran the positive wire to the trunk, you need to run audio input cables from the trunk – on both sides of the car, cuz you have to tap into signal on both rear door speakers. Of course, you don’t have to dismantle the door itself, just tap into the wires that run into it. These wires are in central pillars, you’ll have to remove some black electrical tape over them and the rubber cover. We need two wires on each side, on driver side it’s the red/yellow and blue/white and on passenger side it’s red/white and blue/yellow. The ones with blue color are the negative, red ones are positive, don’t mess up! Pioneer provides bulky way to tap into the wires that involves cutting them, but I just used a lighter to strip the car audio wires (without cutting them) and then cut off the bulky part of Pioneers wires and screwed them over. Please remember the polarity – on Pioneers wires it’s the black one that is positive (+) and the black with white stripes is the negative (-), here I am doing it wrong – had to change the polarity later:
After that don’t forget to cover it all with a good amount of electrical tape.
All that’s left is to run the blue wire (signal cable) to your fuse box on drivers side and the “remote” provided with the sub, I use quotes because it’s also on the wire.
Blue cable is needed to tell the built-in amplifier on the sub to wake up when the ignition is on and to switch off when it’s not. Pioneer suggests to somehow plug it into the headunit or radio antenna or w/e, I just used the good old fuse-box method. In the fuse box I found one called “Sunroof” (see the fuse box cover for fuse positions) and since I don’t have a sunroof, I took it out, folded the end of the wire on one of it’s legs and plugged it back in. Takes some effort to do it with your fingers, may break a nail too, so I suggest to use pliers that are provided with the car and are hidden in another fuse box under the hood – in it’s cover. Another option is to use the outlet fuse, if your amp doesn’t turn off (blue light on the subwoofer remote is still on when you turn ignition off), then the outlet fuse is for you, otherwise the battery may run low with amp draining it while the car is parked for a long time. You can also make a physical switch somewhere on the wire and put it in any place near the fuse box, just to be safe and to be able to turn off the subwoofer while driving without messing with the wires – I plan on doing it later.
Now connect everything to the sub and connect the positive wire to the car battery as the last step (you should already have your negative wired to the car body). I connected it to the screw that holds the big battery connector and made a small hole in covering plastic for it to fit:
Please note, that you also need to have a fuse close to this point, I used the one provided with my Supra cable set and Pioneer set has a fuse already built in on the positive wire.
Now turn it on and pray.. LOL 🙂 I mean, enjoy the bass.
Few notes: if you remove car battery, all your settings are lost, you’ll need to setup everything from the head unit again. Somehow, my car remembered some though. Electrical seat memory is also lost. Automatic sliding up and down on the windows may not work, it took a few turn on/off of the car for them to start working properly again, no problems since that time.
And here are some more random pictures of my working process.
At the front door, driver side:
Read door driver side:
Fuse that I used:
I’ll probably add more later. That’s all for now.
P.S. Oh yeah and in case you’re wondering – the sound is decent. You can control gain and frequency on the remote and also have a reverb switch. It won’t make your car tremble like some bazooka tube will, but it’ll add some nice deep bass if you tune it right. The difference is really noticeable. Next stop – replacing stock speakers 🙂