Is there a specific ball joint for the left and right side of a Mazda Protege?
as far as i know, almost every car is
I have a manual 96 Mazda Protege, with the parking break located behind the shifter. The adjustment bolt is located right next to the parking break on the left side (drivers side) of the parking break handle. you will have to remove the rubber cover around the parking break shaft in order to see the bolt.
On a 1998 Protege it's in-between the engine and the radiator (on top) directly behind the hood latch. I would tighten the cap by hand. For all mechanical and electric connections (or any connection) my philosophy is: If it doesn't fit DON'T force it, look for the correct one or ask a qualified professional in that field because you can't make a wrong right.