It's a "classic style electronic" - thank you! I should say, my son and I figured it out. The spring and rod went vertically through a hole connected to the lever thing you push down to make toast inside the body. We took the toaster apart and put them back in where they belonged. The toaster now sort of works but the lever doesn't stay down as well as before - you have to keep pushing it hard (as in, get violent with the toaster). It looks like the plastic thingy isn't holding onto the rod as well as it should when in the "down" position. So I think it may break soon. but thank you oldturkey for trying to help! My son hates doing these things but I keep trying to get him interested in "fixin" instead of "pitchin"