I just realized that I posted the following in the "other" non-sticky thread. So I'll just copy it here:
Filter: filter and o-ring bought at mazda dealer. didn't get the small o-ring. Will do that next time.
Ramp: Blitz 8000, bought at AutoZone for $20
Wrench: 76mm 14-point oil filter cap wrench
Other: 17mm socket, 6mm hex key - I am only listing the not-so-common tools here.
Special thanks to the OP for his recommendation of the Blitz ramp, the low-profile design really saved the day. Lets me work in safety and comfort. Plenty of room. Other ramps would have hit the bottom lip of the bumper. And plastic never rusts or clangs!!! It's also asphalt-friendly for those of us without concrete driveways.
Just to clarify, the cartridge cap is a 76mm 14-notch. I wasn't sure because there is also 15 notch available. It fit a bit loose, so I guess 74mm may also fit. But 14 notches is it. 15 notch will not fit.
This is without a doubt one of the most frustrating car to do an oil change on, and I've been doing oil changes on family's and friend's cars for over ten years. There is a big hole on the bottom cover which was obviously put in place so that the oil filter can be changed without removing the cover. But it is off by a few inches. Will Mazda offer a free replacement bottom cover when they get this issue corrected? I wonder.
The drain plug on the filter is neat, but it doesn't work very well in getting all the oil out. There is still a lot of dripping going on as you continue to unscrew the cartridge. Granted none of the oil made it onto the floor but I can do that with any oil change, even the ones where the filter is mounted on the side of the engine. I still ended up with a lot of oil on my hands.
Center-pop clips are evil, and I am glad there's only two of them used on the bottom cover. They are evil because once enough pebbles and debri gets into them, the only way to pop the center pin is to break the thing. This won't last beyond a few oil changes. With 7 screws holding the cover on, I won't miss them whey they are gone.
Those two little hooks towards the back on either side of the bottom cover: who's the pea-brain that came up with that design? I give it two oil changes before both get broken off by the monkies at the dealer. Were they really necessary? The cover is already held on by the plastic over-lap tabs.
For anyone who may be looking for another view of changing the oil:
It is for a Mazda 6i, but the steps for draining the oil and changing the filter are the same.
Other observations while doing oil change:
*Back of the radiator cover reads "FoMoCo" in fancy lettering.
*Lots of shiny aluminum down there.
*There was a slight amount of grease on the bracket that holds the center drive-shaft. I think this is just grease from the bushing/fitting overflowing because it was purposefully (correctly) overfilled at the factory. It did glisten slightly.
*That chassis heat-shield is shiny!!!
*Bottom of the car is exceptionally clean, almost perfectly flat front to back, even the suspension members are flush, except for the roll bar mounts in the rear.
Have fun guys, don't let the dealer change your oil for this car. There are too many things that can go wrong. They may...
* round the drain bolt nut taking it off
* over-torque and/or strip the drain bolt putting it back on
* strip the hex key hole taking it off or putting it back on
* tear the o-ring putting it on
* leave dirt in the threads of the cartridge cap
* cross-thread the cartridge cap
* round the cartridge cap
* crack the cartridge cap
* crush the filter element
* break the center-pop pins
* break the bottom cover side hook pins
* do any of the other hundreds of things that may damage, scratch, or otherwise piss you off.