help/advice steering wheel/column removal '70 DS 21 BVH

Time has finally come for me to rewire my 1970 DS 21 BVH (LHD) - it's clear to me that the most sensible way to do this is to completely
remove the dashboard.
I've taken off the driver's side front wing/fender & removed the battery, battery tray, battery tray support, heater box & fan assy., coil and coil tower and tagged and labeled all the wiring at both sides of the their various connection points, detached the fuse holder and released the fuse holder clips from the backer-plate. Released system pressure and removed the driver's side front suspension sphere and capped the cylinder. I've undone the speedometer cable center connection and removed the gauge cluster, the upper finisher cover over the shifter and horn/wiper/turn-signal switches and dropped the lower binnacle with the switches in it and also removed the glove-box light so that the upper dash attachment bolts are accessible.
I've loosened the clamp at the end of the steering column between the column and the steering control unit pinion at the rack.
I've undone the centering cam and the torsion rod for the cam centering roller and have released the clamp holding the outer column tube and slid these all down toward the pinion - the lower cup and the spring have slid down the column shaft.
I've turned on the ignition so that the locking pawl from the anti- theft device is retracted from the split collar on the upper part of the steering column.
When I pull on the column, it moves about 0.25-inch. Out of the car, I can grasp the column and see that it slides on the rack control pinion - again, about 0.25-inch only.
From all that I can tell from the manuals and the parts books, the steering column should be free and should be able to be withdrawn from the face of the dash - but no luck.
I'm not sure what I might be missing. I'm wondering if the upper cone is somehow wedged or locked to the steering column and keeping the column from being withdrawn.
The only other thing that comes to my mind - now that I've cleaned up for the night and am not going back out there again - is that maybe I have to completely remove the bolt at the end of the column at the rack control pinion - is it possible that the bolt is riding in one of the circumfrential grooves on the pinion and MUST be totally withdrawn from the clamp in order for the column to be fully released?
Any thoughts or suggestions appreciated.
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