Was the spring in the perch and then twisted when you reinstalled the top hat? I don't know if it is possible, but you might be able to re-compress the spring while it is still on the car. Its worth a try and if you can relieve the tension you might be able to twist the spring into the perch.
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Vortech // Magnaflow // Hotchkis // H&R
Originally Posted by Forcefed M3
Could not agree more. I enjoyed my vf kit to the day I took it off. VF best s/c out there. Period