Barrel between the pillow - good call. LOL I've been using the gold spring which I've also heard people call the medium one, sorry if I'm being confusing.
I figured they got stuck because the clip that found its way in the on/off was supposed to be holding them in place. (perhaps in came loose as I was reinstalling
wow, sounds like that valve is in need of a rebuild if they're that stuck! what color are they? if they are a caramel color, they'll probably just break