Need help tuning/setting up vibrola tailpiece

I have a question about the maestro vibrola type bridge...
Does anyone have a problem when stringing/tuning it up? I use heavy gauge strings and just installed the vibrola bridge on my firebird and for the life of me I can't string it up, then tune it properly without the bar subsequently being pulled down almost against the body.

So I can't use it and it's made the piece pointless, plus it looks really weird being all pulled up like that...

I'm not used to using anything with a vibrato on it so I'm new to this. Is there a special way to string/tune these things up?

Can anyone help me with this? Should I take the piece off and then bend it back with pilers to compensate or something or is there a special way to string/tune these?

Thanks so much.

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