Please help with steering column lock plate spring

1992 buick riviera 3.8L

Steering column lock plate help.

SO working on the steering column I had to remove the lock plate. Everything went well with my repair, I have the turn signal switch installed but I can not for the life of me get the lock plate spring pushed down far enough to slip in that little ring. I believe the part I am having trouble with is the top bearing inner race. Here is a link to how this looks exactly on my car.

AS soon as i took off the spring that pushes the lock plate I noticed this race was just loosely sitting and the steering column just wobbles around. What am I doing wrong?

I did this in this order. I just moved the top bearing inner race as far back as it will go (it still just wobbles around with the steering column). then I put the spring in so that it touches the race. finally I place in the lock plate and compress it with the lock plate tool. However it simply will not compress enough for me to slip in the ring and lock it in place. Any tops would be helpfull. Am i doing something wrong ? Is there some part of the bearing that should go in before this race?

The picture with the red background is how I am inserting these parts. The spring sits on this race but I cant compress it enough. Like i cant get it aligned properly or something.

It helps with the right tool. Here’s what I use:

I think they even rent it.

THats what Ive been using but I still cant compress it enough… How much do I compress it while moving it back and forth/left to right so that that bearing becomes seated. The pic on the right is how I am assembling it. Should that race or whatever the parts real name is (the one with the spring on top) be inside the bearing or does it just sit on top. Theres gotta be something I am missing or not doing correctly that is not allowing me to press that lock plate down enough.

Maybe you need to push the steering shaft up from under the hood so you have more shaft to work with…When you released the lock plate it might have dropped down a little…

What Caddyman said and. Also try turning the key to the run position to retract the lock pin.