Welcome to 2CarPros.
They are a pain. I agree. You have two choices. Use a good set of channel locks or there is a specific tool. It is a brake spring spanner. The brake tool part number is J 38400. You can get them at any parts stores.
I attached a pic of one being used on your vehicle. See pic 1.
Also, here are the directions for that portion of the brake job. The remaining pics correlate with these directions.
2. Install the park brake cable in the lever.
Important: Ensure that the retractor spring is properly seated in the retaining bracket at the bottom of the backing plate.
3. Install the retractor spring on the backing plate.
4. Using a pair of channel locks, install the retractor spring in the primary brake shoe.
5. Install the secondary brake shoe on the backing plate.
Important: In the following service procedure, the retractor spring can be installed by the use of either the special tool called out or by the use or a pair of channel locks.
6. Using the J 38400 (1) or equivalent, install the retractor spring in the secondary brake shoe.
Let me know if this helps.
Images (Click to enlarge)
Sunday, September 15th, 2019 AT 8:04 PM