It could be done by shortening the spring or a combination of that with a different spring rate. But it's only speculation to say how they did it. WIth the difference only being 1/2" or so, it's doubtful the difference would have jumped out at you just looking at them side by side without actually measuring.It is 95% done. All I lack is a another new tie-rod end to replace the one I stripped the threads on.
But, when I had them side-by-side I did not notice any differences in height or mounting hole locations. My best guess is the difference is in the spring compression rate. Although I would have thought the Special would have a stiffer spring, not a softer one.