Thanks everyone for you help on this particular issue. Bill Dishivs, you were correct that it can't go on incorrectly and that something was wrong. My father knows a good deal about gun smithing and he's given this to me as a project. It was simply switching out a hammer, but it's turned into a god aweful night mare of little parts.
The issue with the side plate not going on was that I believe that the pin that goes through the side plate was originally longer and that they just put it through and sanded it flat. The whole throught the side plate was crooked and there was a lip on the pin. I took a miniscule drill bit and gently bored the whole out so it was even on all sides and then took a small file and stone and rounded up the pin. It then popped back on snuggly, but easily.
This issue I'm having now is that I can get the thing back together as long as I don't put in the main spring in. I can get the hole that goes through the side plate, hammer, and frame to line up. However, I can't seem to get the main spring in if everything else is assembled and if I get it put back together with the main spring in (quite a task) then I can't get the wholes to line up at all and invariably, while I'm playing with it, the hand spring (which I've come to hate) pops out of place and I have to start over.
If anyone has any thoughts on this, please let me know. I plan to start another post under a more correct heading. You can find the new post here: http://thefiringline.com/forums/show...36#post5183436
Thanks for all the help so far.