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With what you have said here is a very good GUESS at what happened.
Behind the bolt you too out there is a needle bearing & one or two thrust washers. When the bolt is taken out with the e-shaft horizontal like the position the motor is when it's in the car the thrust washer & needle bearing slips forward on the e-shaft & drops down on a smaller diameter of the e-shaft. When you take it apart to & reassemble look at ALL the part svery close because when you tightened the bolt you could have gougded/screwed up the parts.
If you try a workshop manual or enter the mazdatrix site there is a workup on the issue I described so that the needle bearing & thrust washer don't drop dpwn on the smaller diameter.
If the engine is out, fix it now. It is not easy to remove a front cover or even the oil pan while the engine is in the car. Yes it can be done but the odds of you getting it to not leak when you reassemble it are much higher than if you just fix it while the engine is out. I had the thrust bearing fall off like that once and to save time I removed the engine to fix it. It's not easy to do in the car.
umm... when the torrington bearing gets crushed by the spacer, endplay goes to zero, it doesn't get larger.
I agree that he needs to remedy this problem by restacking the front assembly, but I don't think the torrington bearing will be pinched.
I'm not totally sure why, but you do end up with a bunch of end play when the bearing slips out of place. I know this from first-hand experience. This was from my engine: http://mazdatrix.com/faq/pulley.htm