Needs to be above that bolt that yiv got the wrong wae roond (just at the arm bend)
As for saving the paint, you could try using a cable tie instead o the metal clip but dunno if it wid haud
or try this method, by the way its no mine, I found it
This pertains to the difficulty of installing the later type Series 3 side panel buffers with the metal clips inside without tearing up either the rubber buffer or your fresh new paint job. First put a little dish soap inside the buffer, then work the spring through the buffer, starting with the end of the spring which has a right angle at the end. Now put a strip of flexible plastic (a 1" x 4 " strip cut from an old margarine tub will work great) on the front side of the frame where the clip will slide on. Pry the spring open and slide it in position over the strip of plastic. The plastic will help it slide on and protect your paint. After it's all the way on, pull out the plastic strip and you're done.