And old thread for sure. I read part of it and posted my lament. Had to delete and retype something current. Glad to see you get this potentially draconian job sorted out without removal of the entire engine per Mazda's spec. This was really good to hear for your sake. However, it makes me wonder Mazda's Accessory Design strategy and whether or not that carried over into the redesigned versions. I have not yet been that deep into the engine compartment on my 2018, but this thread has given a very good reason to start that exploration - just to see what I might run into in the future.
Thanks for the post and congrats on the "workaround."
fitting a large displacement v6 into a FWD vehicle is no easy task. there were certainly compromises to be made. this is probably one of the reasons why mazda switched to a 2.5 turbo - more space to work on within the engine bay and a simpler design = less manufacturing costs for Mazda, and the turbo makes peak torque at a much more reasonable RPM. it's a win win situation?