Tool advice to remove 2 bolts from Rack to remove and replace

My husband is a knowledged DIYer and he is trying to replace my leaking rack. However, he has two bolts he cannot get off the rack because he cannot find the right tool with the correct clearance to remove it. He said he has tried offsets and the breaker bar is either too long or too short. He said he has tools that fit the bolts but cannot move the tool to actually get them off. He is starting to wonder if shops have a specialty tool to remove them. Any help appreciated.

I don’t recall needing any specialty tools to service the rack and pinion on Mercury Villager/Nissan Quest bodies. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Maybe you or he can post a pic of the bolt?

He may want to get a compressor and an impact wrench. The pulses really do help get stuck nuts & bolts free. Usually, saturation with penetrating lube helps too.

I’d suggest a stand up compressor with a 150psi rating and a wrench with a 250ft/lb rating.

Thanks. He does have a compressor, the problem is there is little space to actually hook onto the bolt. There isnt enough room to fit the impact wrench onto the bolt because of its size. He tried an offset wrench/rachet and has the 11/16 fitting for it, but once he gets it on the bolt there isnt room to turn it. I can see if he can get a picture of it. Imagine for example you need to get a bolt off, you get the rachet on the bolt but there is a wall on either side preventing the breaker bar from turning at all. Its a tight space that pins the breaker bar from what he has told me.

Perhaps it’s a clearance issue? I have a rotator ratchet I got from dad. Has female drive on end of handle so u can hold ratchet stationary and use 2nd ratchet to apply torque. Stanley sells a simpler version with no drive socket in handle. U just twist handle. Low torque situations. I have both. An air operated ratchet is similar but they have no oomph. Maybe they make an impact version of that tool?

Also, he jacked the van up, removed the wheels and is trying to install it that way…He is thinking that maybe he has to take the whole front end off, he said there is just so much in the way that it will not allow him to turn those bolts off. Hoping that isnt the case

Cavell, its def a clearance issue but he didnt want to continue buying sizes for trial and error as it can get expensive. I will ask him about that tool you mentioned. I am just the wife, and know little about cars…just trying to help him by researching. He is going to give it another go after work.
I know that he ran out last night and bought this 11/16 rachet tool that swivels to make it 90 degree offset to see if that would help and he said there just wasnt enough clearance with even that.

The thing he bought look like this.

If the issue is lack of clearance to turn the bolt then does he have anything like this:

The air spins it so you don’t have to. I don’t know what the torque is on the bolts though so that could matter.

A picture is worth 1000 words if one can even be taken.

What year is it?

I cant take a pic, he is at work. I tried looking online for a picture but no luck. He said he was thinking of the air rachet as well, but wasnt sure. You guys solidified that he would have to go buy one and it will do the trick. I dont know the exact torque on the bolts but he said they have ass to them. (Pretty darn tight) He had enough room to break one of the (the 3rd bolt) but has two left with little to no clearance. He said a picture would be tough because of how concealed the part is from a camera view. I will keep looking through.

Sorry its a Mercury Villager Estate Trim, year: 2000

For the bolts the torque specs read 54-72 ft/lb

So with the air rachet, do they make a 11/16 air rachet? Confused, not finding one locally according to the net. I have sears, autozone, and advanced auto around me. Is that what I should look for?

That’s not the idea. The air ratchet will take multiple sockets. So you just get the ratchet and put whatever socket size you need onto it. The ratchet does have a square drive on it where you put the socket. Most will be either 3/8" or 1/2" in terms of the square end. I’m sure your husband has a socket set or two already. If he only owns a 3/8" set then you’d need a 3/8" square drive on the air ratchet. Then any of his 3/8 sockets go on it.

Awesome. I get the concept now. Thank you. Now last question. Considering most of the air rachets I am seeing handle a 50 or 60 max torque, and The specs on the bolts are 54-72 ft/lb which one would you suggest I get? Thanks

If he has room for an extension, maybe a wobble extension would work. They come in all drive sizes and various lengths. They have been a lifesaver for me. The 1/4" drive size can’t take much torque though, they break easily but they sure can get into tight spaces.

They are cheaper at Northern Tool or Harbor Freight.

This set might be a better choice.

or this one

The last one will be cheaper at AutoZone or other parts house.

The Chilton’s online manual from my library says the sway bar has to be removed and master cylinder remote reservoir, and junction block/high pressure line have to be repositioned to get the rack out.
I don’t know if any of these are in his way but I hope this helps.

I don’t know how this is laid out but your husband would be better off trying to get at the bolts with a 3 foot extension with a wobble socket in Lord knows from what direction or whatever rather than use an air ratchet.

An air ratchet is not really made for slamming larger bolts with air power. An air ratchet can be used to manually break a bolt loose and then remove it by engaging the air.Trying to slam larger bolts with an air ratchet usually leads to 2 things:
Damaging the ratchet by tearing the splines out of the gears in the head.
Crushing the fingers instantly when the ratchet leverages itself due to the application of air.

Would something like this work?


I’ve also been known to cut the open end off of an open/box end wrench and slide a piece of conduit over the handle, for those really tough spots. If it’s that frozen, I’d recommend a six-point wrench. It ain’'t kosher, but it works.