Nissan steering pinch bolt

I am replacing the steering gear on my fiance’s 2005 Nissan Altima and have everything free except the lower joint pinch bolt on the steering column. Can anyone help me with am idea of how to get this free?

You are going to have to reread the manual. What did it say? Did it say to remove it or loosen it? I figure that some pinch bolts get loosened and the shaft slides out.

The manual says remove the bolt and I have. The problem is that they seem to be rusted together and I can’t seem to break them free of each other. Last night I soaked them in WD40 buti figure someone must know a trick to solving this problem.

WD40 does not work very well on things like this. PB Blaster is a much better option.
My suggestion would be to spray it with PB, allow it to soak, and then try to tap a small flat screwdriver tip into the pinch joint on the steering coupler after rotating it to where the seam faces you.

With a screwdriver tip wedged in there spray some more PB on it and allow it to soak a bit. It should, knock on wood, come off.
If the splines are too far gone due to rust you may have to replace the steering coupler also.

I usually take a chisel and hammer and place the chisel in the slot and give it good whack. That’ll cause the joint to spread allowing removal.


Chisel and hammer is my preferred method too.

I’ve also used a chisel to wedge apart stuck couplers and that should work. As an alternative isn’t there another pinch bolt at the top of the coupler where it connects to the bottom of the steering shaft? If so, perhaps you can disconnect that one as it might be less corroded since it is higher and more protected from corrosive elements. If you can disconnect the top pinch bolt, maybe you can remove the rack with the coupler and then you can work to remove the coupler from the rack while it’s out of the car. Even if the rack plus coupler is too bulky to withdraw from the space available, you might be able to get a good angle to use a punch to drive the coupler up and off the rack.