Control Arms install help?

I ordered new Moog upper and lower control arms, new swivel spring perches, and new one inch drop springs from WCCC.
I got all the old parts out by myself which was a challenge as I have never done this or used a spring compressor.
Was able to get everything in on the driver side fine too. But when I got to the passenger side, after installing the upper arm and getting the spring aligned to compress, I noticed the holes on the upper arm for the spring perch studs would not allign! Seems I am off about 1/4 of an inch and can not get the studs into the arm!
I backed it off a second and third time.

Could the rod on the top of the control arm that has the studs that secure the control arm to the shock tower be off adjustment from the factory?
I know there must be a way to adjust the large 1 inch nut ends where the grease zerx are to shift that rod over but I am not sure and do not know exactly how to do that. If it moves to the right a little, the holes below would move left which is what I need.
Hope this question is making sense.
When I tighten the spring up, it is aligned correctly in the tower so can’t move that and the perch studs.

This is very frustrating with how well everything went on the driver side. But I know when you mix different reproduction parts it can happen.

I believe I’m picturing your description correctly - be patient if I’m way off! If it’s this, I had a rough time getting the studs of the spring perch into the upper arm. I finally used an open end wrench to rotate the flat on the ends of the pivot - right inside the threads of the studs you are trying to get to engage the control arm holes. It was then still a cuss-worthy time to start the nuts, but tightening things drew everything together. Of course, I got everything as close as I could with pry bar and 66 year old muscle first.

Hope I’m not way off!

I’m not sure I understand the issue. But clarify something please.

Are you trying to install the spring and the roller perch at the same time?

Or, did you install the upper arm, install the roller perch, and THEN compress and install the spring?

I just changed all four of my control arms.

I put the control arms on first, used the tool linked below to compress the spring up into the shock tower. I then slid in place and bolted the perch to the control arm, tab side in.

I then placed a floor jack with a block of wood on it under the lower control arm and jacked it up till the perch and spring met.

Released and removed spring compressor. Bolted shock mount and shock on and lowered and removed floor jack.


Yes that is correct. I bolted on the upper control arm, attached the compressor to the perch where the bottom of the shock goes, put my spring on over that and fed it up in the shock tower, attached the the rest of the compressor to the top and start cranking. This compressor is probably different than the ones that allow you to compress it laying on the floor and then put it in. So as it compresses up the perch goes up too. Then you can just lift up the control arm to marry the studs from the perch.
Then stick on the nuts and let out the spring tension.

My issue is those studs on the perch are ending up offset a little from the holes in the arm I need them to go in. Since the spring is compressed, I can’t really shove it over enough to get the studs lined up.

Hope that makes sense. I am following a video from WCCC.

I think we are close to the same page. Maybe I need to break out the crow bar!

Thank you for your reply. I did find on the driver side with the fancy spring compressor I am borrowing from WCCC. Just having a problem lining things up on the other side.

One thing I forgot to mention, I had the coil spring cover plate off till I replaced the control arms.

I had a much harder time with the driver’s side.


Gyrhead, I had to go to my computer to do this. Here is the spring compressor that I am using. It goes in place of the shock and attaches the same way.

Here is the video instructions for this Spring compressor: The spring part is about min 15:20 on the video .

I used the spring compressor from WCCC as well. I had to do pretty much the same thing using a BFS (Big F@#%ing Screwdriver) to turn the spring perch enough that I could line up the fasteners. You might need a third or fourth hand to make it a bit easier. Good luck.

Interesting, I’ve never seen that style of spring compressor before.

Did you compress the spring enough that there’s NO tension on the upper arm? If not, crank down on the compressor a bit more. This should give you the wiggle you need to get the perch bolts aligned. Someone else recommended removing the upper spring shield. That’s a good idea.

If need be, loosen the control arm bolts to the shock tower to allow the arm to wiggle side to side a bit. Once the perch bolts are installed, tighten everything to spec BEFORE releasing tension on the spring compressor.

I would not mess around with the shaft bushing nuts - it’s easy to screw those up.

Make sure the end of the coil spring is up against the stop bracket on the perch. The coil end can wander while you are concentrating on the studs lining up. One of my perches stop brackets was bent out too far and needed to be bent inward. I would doubt your control arm is stud holes are misaligned. Be careful!

I’ve done it several times with the WCCC style spring compressor and always had to muscle the spring perch bolt line up. Care in setting it straight initially, playing with the spring compression and arm rotation help. The last time I left the upper arm bolts to the body a bit loose until I got the perch bolts started.

Scott, thanks for your message. The one side went like cake and I thought " wow this isn’t so hard if I can do it like the kid in the video". Then I go to the other side and it was the total opposite! Nothing worked right. But reading your message at least let’s me know I am not crazy. So time to take out the BFS and make it happen!

Gyrhead, I agree I decided not to try to mess with the shaft bushing nuts. I may take the upper spring shield off for more visability. Lots of good advice.

I did like the spring compressor for the first side but am not so much a fan now. I may just get the one suggested from Auto zone to try as another option.

Thanks for your message. I noticed the same thing and I just decided the holes are the holes and just deal with it. I will figure This out!

Ok, so you know what I am dealing with here!
Since I am doing this my self, it can be hard to having a third hand!. I so I try you suggestions.
One way or another I will prevail!

I wanted to post an update as there was a wealth of knowledge and experiences shared on this issue.

I tried the loaner spring compressor from Autozone.
After several tries I decided it was a piece of crap compared to the one from WCCC. It was not long enough to get to the bottom of the spring, two coils up for the bottom was the max distance so it would not compress enough and was making the spring at a worse angle to try to connect up everything. It was also not nearly as beefy as the other.

So I went back to the WCCC one as I was close on that one. I used the advice I got on here to enlist another pair of hands. I caught my 22 year old daughter on her way back from the gym and we were able to work together with me doing the heavy work to FORCE the spring over and get the perch studs into the control arm!

My take away on this whole thing was not being afraid to ask for advice and then setting aside a little pride to ask for help when I clearly couldn’t get it done on my own.

Time to move onto the rest of the suspension parts and power steering on the garage floor!

Great news! The WCCC tool (or ones like it) do largely immobilize the coil spring. You can’t get much motion down where you have to cajole the spring perch studs into their new homes. But I still like that style!