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Author's note: I'm documenting thing this up in the spirit of a "How To", even though I don't think it's in the same league as some of the Projects up here (hence my posting it in the 2Gen forum) because it's such a basic thing.

It would have been nice to know what I was in for when I went to do this - so I'm putting this here so that others like me (who have never touched a car in their life, except to change the plugs, or do the fluid levels) can see that this is a simple, achievable project that should take no more than 20-30 minutes.

Also, I'm Australian. This means that when I say "boot" you can think "trunk" if you prefer.

-- AnnMarie


A. Before you start - Is it the light that's faulty?

1. Test the wiring
Before you fork out for replacements, do test that it is indeed the spoiler light that is broken. There are two points to test - at two connectors on the cable coming from the body into the boot.

One is located on the underside of the boot lid just above the catch on the inside of the body work (this is a 2-wire plug and socket, where the light connects to the cabling running through the boot lid) and the other is inside the boot itself on the right hand side (the 4-wire plug and socket, connecting the boot lid to the body of the car):



2. Help - I am not an electrician!
The electrically-minded will know how to test it. If you're not electrically-minded, find someone who is. Test at both these points - when the brake is pressed, you should see voltage coming down the wires at both these points.

Faulty wiring is beyond the scope of this walk through.

B. "Replacing the third brake light" or "So, your spoiler light is busted!"

1. Get a spare part
You have a few of choices (these are all at time of writing):

A) A replacement from Mazda

I was quoted $450AUD (around $570US) for this part.

B) A third-party alternative

You need a specific part - for my '92 2nd Gen it was a 24 inch, 4 hole mount unit. See spoilerlight.com for an idea. With this particular replacement, you would need to do some adapting or soldering here as it doesn't have the body grommet and 2-wire connector on - you could grab those from your old one.

C) Second-hand / Wreckers

I got mine from someone who'd not replaced their spoiler (they liked it better without) after having insurance repairs done. Brand new, genuine in the box.

D) Remove and attempt to repair yourself

Budget option! If you like to solder, the PCB looks fairly straightforward - lots of LEDs, lots of solder joints. Getting the unit apart may be another issue altogether, but since the other option is "buy another" it really doesn't matter too much if you mess it up beyond repair.

I'm planning on pulling apart my old one, so I might update this with some information down the track on how you can repair it.

2. Tools required



That's it. Really. Other things that are nice are a soft cloth to protect the spoiler when you work on it, and something to clean with.

Now some people will say you don't need to remove the spoiler to do this job, but I disagree - to replace it, you need to fit a rubber grommet to the body work, and the hole is underneath the central spoiler support. It's a lot easier to remove the spoiler.

3. Disconnect the old light

Disconnect the LED light from the internal boot cable - you'll find the 2 wire socket and plug behind your boot latch on the inside of the boot lid. You may want to pop the little lug that holds it in place out - just squeeze it and it should come loose:


4. Test your new light

Before you remove the old one from the spoiler, just connect your new one to the socket and check that it works. I propped it up under the open boot lid.



5. Remove the spoiler

Undo these six nuts with your spanner:



(Obligatory "don't lose them, remember which came from where" at this point)

The spoiler should stay in with the boot open, because there are bolts on the spoiler holding it on. Shut the boot and lift off the spoiler:



You'll see a rubber grommet where the wiring enters the boot. You'll need to pull that to get it out - don't be too rough, as the rest of the cable is attached. It can be nice to have an extra pair of hands at this point to hold the spoiler while you get the plug out - but the spoiler is very light and I just held it with one hand while I pulled with the other. You will be left with three filthy spots:



(As an aside, it's worth looking at what the '6 looks like with no spoiler:


Personally, I prefer it with)

Rest the spoiler top down onto a work surface that won't damage your body work (you don't need a lot of force, so you can rest it on a cloth that's been folded over a few times - I used my car cover over some rags).

6. Clean up



This is a good opportunity to clean under the spoiler, and to clean those filthy patches. Don't use too much water around the holes in the body work - I stuff a rag in them when I'm working in the area to stop water from getting in.

At this point, the boss came 'round to inspect my work:


7. Remove the old light

Use your screwdriver to undo the four mounting screws:


Push the old cable through:


You can see that the new one looks quite different to the old one! For some reason, the new one (top) is like the aftermarket one I mentioned - it has a clear lens on the bottom. The old one (bottom) has a dark red plastic plate on the bottom, different colour to the bodywork I have:


Poke the new cable through:


8. Put the spoiler back on
Get the spoiler in position, push the cable through and rit the grommet to the boot lid:


Make sure the spoiler bolts are firmly in their holes. Hold the spoiler in place while you open the boot gently, and put the six nuts back on (see step 5). Just finger-tighten them at this stage.

9. Reconnect the cables
Reconnect the cables (see step 3), and fix the lug back in place:


10. Test it again and finish attaching the spoiler
You'll kick yourself if you've crimped a cable by accident and you have to undo all those bolts again, so give it a test. Then using the spanner, firmly tighten the nuts.

11. Enjoy your spanking new lights!
I'm a believer that the 2nd Gen MX6 has one of the most distinctive rear-ends on the road, and the LED third brake light makes it possible to spot one in the dark from a great distance. I give it thumbs up!

 
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