I'm guessing my bailor is too new for the plastic hooks to allow the loop in the spring to slide on. Closing the spring didn't do anything, but opening the spring and a great deal of effort did get the springs on. However the thing works much better now and the springs sure seem worth the effort.
Mine are C-Spring brand springs. I did try to hook the spring under the hook and rotate it but the edges of the hook were too wide for the loop in the spring. I'm wondering if my bailor was too new or if it was one of those "illegal" ones.
I must have bought a set of these five years ago, intending to install them "the next time the o-rings gave out". Believe it or not, I haven't needed to replace the o-rings all this time. Storing the boat in my garage with the bailer closed seemed to minimize the stress on the o-rings (not recommended it you store your boat outside). They are still in one piece, though they have lost their elasticity.
Took a little fiddling and watching a couple of videos, but they work perfectly. It's almost like it was designed with the springs from the get go.
I think I've been playing with opening and closing it for five minutes straight.