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Ok, couple things for you to try.
First, the strut won't extend to far, what will or can happen though is the axle might not be through the hub far enough to tip the spindle up so you can lock it in.
Disconnect the sway bar link. This will allow you to push the lower control arm down enough to get the bolts lined back in the spindle so you can connect the strut. Most of the pressure on the lower control arm comes from there.
This should make it so you can reconnect.
Please let me know if there is any more I can do to help you from here.
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Well, what I would usually do is take a large prybar and pull the sway bar down and push the link through. This might be easier if you have both front wheels off the ground, and be careful, you don't wanna bop yourself in the head with the prybar. Been there and done that.
Possible to send a photo?
Did my instructions not help you get the car back together? Or do you need further assistance?