I can't see what you were doing from the pics, but in any case, you are a brave man.
I worked on my Vandersteen 5A's.....I proceeded with great caution - took me many days.....but removed the tweeter, midrange, crossover, bass amp, et al.......sent them to Vandersteen to find a bug and while it was there to change all the batteries. Speakers are working fine now....but a brutal project. I look back with a smile, but......
The first picture is a close up of the "spider" (the tan piece) through the basket, with the leads going into the cone up, or at "12:00". What is to be seen here is basically a "before shot". Look at the concentric ribs, and how they are not shaped the same all the way around, they appear pressed in near the top, and bulging out at the top. Another thing to look at is look at the relationship of where the shiny black cement ring is at the base of the cone and how far in or OUT it is compared to the outter edge of the spider where it is cemented to the basket.
The second picture is after the spider had been dampened with water (using a Q-Tip as a "brush"). The leads are on the far side of the cone to the left. You can see the blue ball point pen with the paper towel wrapped around it, and the leads going into the cone wrapped over the paper towel to GENTLY pull the voice coil that direction while the driver was drying in the sun on a window sill. And again, the other thing to look at is now that the spider had been dampened, it is now much more symmetrical, consistent shape around the entire spider, AND how much further into the magnet the entire cone is now resting. It’s as though the spider was acting as a spring with tension, and un-naturally holding the cone/voice coil further out of the basket/magnet.
Had I known this would work as well as it did, I would have taken more pictures to document what I did in more detail, as it was, I was just texting a fellow Vandersteen 2C owner and friend what I was getting into. It’s the only pictures I took.
Here is the basic components and operation of a driver.