That's the same sequence I used. I improvised a 1/8" dia punch to apply the bottom return spring. I just inserted the tip into the hole of the shoes and the shaft into the hook of the spring, lever it back and it will slide right on. I think the tool you described for the retaining springs would make a big difference.
I had trouble seeing the hols for the retaining springs because I only had the car a foot or so off the ground,so the angle to see the slot through the holes in the shoes was difficult.
Now that it's bee a couple of days, I guess it wasn't that bad, I was just frustrated at the time. Thanks to all who replied.
This should be a good "How To"for the future.
91 300E 120K
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84 300SD 245K (sold)