Patents Represented by Attorney Karl F. Barr, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6945576
    Abstract: A multifunctional bumper assembly, for use with a vehicle, which provides energy absorption structure as well as an air intake assembly housed within the interior of the bumper assembly to increase engine compartment space. The bumper assembly has an elongated wall having a generally C-shaped cross section internally defining a channel housing the air intake assembly. The air intake assembly includes an elongated duct having inlet and outlet ends and a housing for an intake air filter element connected intermediate the ends for filtering air drawn in through the inlet end and discharged through the outlet end to an engine air intake.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Otto T. Arentzen
  • Patent number: 6899070
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine has a plurality of cylinders containing pistons connected with a crankshaft for transmitting power. The cylinders have closed ends, intake and exhaust ports communicating with the cylinders through the closed ends, valves operable to open and close the ports to air and exhaust flow to and from the cylinders, and a lower end pressure oil lubrication system operative to lubricate at least the cylinders, pistons and crankshaft of the engine. The engine includes hydraulic actuators operable to actuate the valves and forming part of a separate upper end hydraulic oil actuation system operative to selectively supply high pressure hydraulic oil to the hydraulic actuators to actuate the valves in a predetermined manner. Optionally, the hydraulic system may have an oil reservoir within the engine block, such as in the valley between the cylinder banks of a V type engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Timothy L. Neal
  • Patent number: 6884032
    Abstract: A water pump having a housing with an opening defined by an axial inner retention surface and a radial outer surface. A plug formed of sheet metal includes a radial closure portion surrounded by a continuous axial flange adapted to be press fitted into the inner retention surface of the housing. Before assembly, an adhesive is applied to either the axial flange of the plug or the inner retention surface of the housing. The plug is then pressed into the housing so that the flange of the plug engages the inner retention surface of the housing. After the adhesive sets, a water tight seal is formed between the plug and the housing adequate to hold pressurized coolant within the housing of the water pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Nader A. Messih, Ernest C. Ionescu
  • Patent number: 6874463
    Abstract: An engine with cylinder deactivation (Displacement on Demand or DODâ„¢) includes standard (STD) cylinders which are not deactivated and DOD cylinders which can be deactivated by closing their intake and exhaust valves and shutting off their fuel supply. To provide smooth transitions, the STD and DOD cylinders form separate groups each supplied with charge air through one or more separate throttles. When switching to DOD operation, the throttles are oppositely actuated to cut out the DOD cylinders and maintain torque in the active cylinders prior to deactivation of the cylinder valves. When returning to STD operation, the valves are reactivated before oppositely actuating the throttles to enable full cylinder operation. In DOD operation, a small supercharger may be operated to boost torque of the operating STD cylinders and thus increase the DOD operating range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas E. Bolander, Jeffrey J. Allen, Alexander J. Roberts
  • Patent number: 6874486
    Abstract: A supercharger includes multiple back flow ports which are controlled by valves. The valves regulate the timing and area for back flow of pressurized outlet air into the rotor chambers. The back flow air tends to equalize air pressure in the chambers prior to their exhausting into the outlet and thereby reduces flow back noise. The multiple ports are opened selectively or sequentially to provide noise control with improved efficiency at varying speeds.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory P. Prior, Roxann M. Bittner
  • Patent number: 6866011
    Abstract: An internal combustion engine for a vehicle includes an engine block having a piston moveable within a cylinder bore. The piston has a piston skirt and a dome. A connecting rod operatively connects the piston to a crankshaft. A squirter is connected to the engine block and has a nozzle aimed to spray lubricant against a wall of the cylinder bore slightly below the piston skirt when the piston is at top dead center.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: John M. Beardmore
  • Patent number: 6860250
    Abstract: A lubrication system for an internal combustion engine having a pressure reducing valve to optimize oil flow through an engine to increase engine efficiency. The lubrication system includes an engine driven oil pump connected to supply pressurized oil through a main oil feed to a main bearing gallery, a cam gallery and a hydraulically actuated device such as a cam phaser or switching valve lifters. A pressure reducing valve connected between the main bearing feed restricts oil flow to the cam gallery to raise oil pressure supplied to the hydraulically actuated device. The increased oil pressure to the hydraulically actuated device allows the engine to use a smaller oil pump and thereby increase engine efficiency while providing for actuation of the cam phaser or the switching lifters over the full engine speed range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Jeremy M. Plenzler, Liyun Zheng
  • Patent number: 6845743
    Abstract: An oil pan for an engine includes a body having a floor and side walls. The body has a plurality of baffles extending vertically from the floor and intersecting each other and the side walls in a manner to form four chambers. The baffles have openings to allow oil flow therethrough. One of the chambers acts as an oil pick-up chamber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2004
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas M. Bishop
  • Patent number: 6845616
    Abstract: The invention provides an internal combustion engine which can be run optionally on various fuels of different energy density, in particular for a motor vehicle drive, characterised in that the engine is equipped with a supercharging compressor which can be connected up when using a low-energy-density fuel at least when power requirements are elevated, so that the engine works as a supercharged engine, whereas the supercharging compressor is shut off when using a high-energy-density fuel and the engine works as a naturally aspirating engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2001
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Andreas Jauss
  • Patent number: 6843214
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for balancing work output from cylinder banks of an engine having a common crankshaft and separate intake camshafts with cam phasers for each bank. The method includes sensing a crankshaft rotational characteristic, such as instantaneous rotational speed or acceleration, during the power strokes of pistons of predetermined comparable cylinders (or all cylinders) of each bank, computing average crankshaft rotational characteristics for the power strokes of the comparable cylinders of each bank, and adjusting the phasing of at least one of the intake camshafts to obtain equal averages of the sensed characteristics of the crankshaft during the power strokes of the respective banks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 18, 2005
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Ronald J. Herrin
  • Patent number: 6810845
    Abstract: A lubrication system for an internal combustion engine having valves to optimize oil flow through an engine to increase engine efficiency. The lubrication system includes an engine driven oil pump connected to supply pressurized oil through a main oil feed to a main bearing gallery, a cam gallery, a cam phaser and switching valve lifters. A pair of pressure increasing valves connected to the main bearing gallery and the cam gallery selectively restrict oil flow to the cam gallery and the main bearing gallery to raise oil pressure supplied to the cam phaser. A pressure regulator valve is connected to the cam gallery to control oil pressure supplied to the switching lifters for cylinder deactivation or stepping valve train operation. The optimization of oil flow allows the engine to use a smaller oil pump and thereby increase engine efficiency while providing for actuation of the cam phaser or the switching lifters over the full engine speed range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Jeremy M. Plenzler, Liyun Zheng
  • Patent number: 6810866
    Abstract: An engine includes cams for actuating intake and exhaust valves controlling transport of air and combustion products to and from a combustion chamber of the engine. The cams have valve opening and closing curves capable of being timed so that the intake valve opening curve partially overlaps the exhaust valve closing curve, allowing retention of some combustion products in the combustion chamber with an incoming air charge. At least one of the cams has variable timing to vary the valve overlap for controlling the amount of exhaust gas retention or recirculation (EGR). The overlapping portions of the cam opening and closing curves are extended to provide a relatively linear variation in valve overlap area over the range of cam variable timing. Thus, variation of exhaust gas retention in the combustion chamber becomes a relatively constant function of the duration of valve overlap in each engine cycle and control of the amount of EGR is improved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Brian W. Geiser
  • Patent number: 6811506
    Abstract: An engine accessory belt drive includes a self-aligning pulley assembly including a relatively stationary outer assembly and a universally pivotable inner assembly supported by the outer assembly and able to be locked in position by tightening of a fastener. During alignment of the self-aligning pulley with the belt, the fastener is maintained in the loose position, allowing limited universal pivoting of the rotational axis of the pulley as a result of belt tension forces which act to align the pulley. After the pulley is aligned, the fastener is tightened to fix the rotational axis of the pulley and the inner assembly in the aligned position of the pulley. Features of the inner and outer assemblies of the pulley assembly are also described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory Paul Prior, David Geza Kokochak, Eric C. Douse
  • Patent number: 6789517
    Abstract: A method for adjusting the timing of an internal combustion engine having a crankshaft and a camshaft to manage the thermal load on the engine. The method includes the step of altering the timing of the camshaft with respect to the timing of the crankshaft to reduce thermal load on the engine. Preferably, the step of altering the timing of the camshaft is accomplished with a variable camshaft phaser.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Edward R. Romblom, Jay Tolsma, Jason T. Davis
  • Patent number: 6769387
    Abstract: A rocker arm assembly includes an inner rocker arm and an outer rocker arm. The outer rocker arm includes two rail portions spaced a distance apart and forming an open space therebetween. The inner rocker arm is pivotably connected to the outer rocker arm such that it is at least partially within the open space. The inner rocker arm includes a locking pin housing containing two locking pins selectively engageable with holes in each of the rail portions to selectively prevent relative movement between the inner rocker arm and the outer rocker arm. The rocker arm assembly enables two-step valve operation and has a design characterized by compact size and improved manufacturability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Alan W. Hayman, Eric C. Douse
  • Patent number: 6763797
    Abstract: A lubrication system for an internal combustion engine includes a variable displacement oil pump supported on the engine block and connected to draw oil from the oil pan and to supply pressurized oil to various engine components. The pump defines variable displacement pumping chambers for carrying oil from an inlet to a pressurized outlet. An exemplary embodiment includes a vane pump with a feedback displacement control using pressure from the lubrication system to actuate a slide ring in the pump to control the pump output. Numerous features of the pump are disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: David R. Staley, Rolland D. Giampa, Alan W. Hayman
  • Patent number: 6692264
    Abstract: A connector and method for electrically connecting to a series of closely spaced edges for use in monitoring individual cells using bipolar plates of a fuel cell stack. The connector includes an elongated elastomeric strip with electrical conductivity for a first side thereof to an opposing side thereof, but not having meaningful electrical conductivity in use along its elongated length. This elongate strip is held at an angle in relation to the closely spaced edges by alignment protrusions. This enables the use of a series of connectors which nest together to contact all the closely spaced edges. A plurality of electrically conductive elements are located on a printed circuit board against the opposing side of the elongated elastomeric strip in corresponding relationship to the closely spaced edges located against the first side of the elongate elastomeric strip. Means is provided for exerting a force to push the first side of the elongated elastomeric strip against the closely spaced edges is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2004
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Robert L. Fuss
  • Patent number: 6670064
    Abstract: An air control system and method for a fuel cell system includes a manifold, a air delivery device that supplies air to the manifold, and a plurality of fuel cell components. A plurality of flow controllers (FCs) control airflow from the manifold to the fuel cell components. A controller communicates with the FCs and the air delivery device and generates a manifold pressure setpoint based on a first factor that is related to fuel cell system stability and a second factor that is a based on minimum and maximum pressures of the air delivery device for a predetermined airflow. If the first and second factors are met, the controller optionally generates the manifold pressure setpoint based on a third factor that is related to fuel cell system efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Donald H. Keskula, Victor W. Logan, Bruce J. Clingerman
  • Patent number: 6669463
    Abstract: The present invention provides a combustor for a fuel processor which integrates a burner and a catalyst. The burner is utilized to quickly heat the catalyst to a light-off temperature to prepare it for normal operation. The heated catalyst is then used to react anode exhaust with air or cathode exhaust under normal operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2003
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Matthew J. Beutel, William H. Pettit, Steven G. Goebel
  • Patent number: 6663995
    Abstract: An electro-chemical fuel cell stack having a fuel cell assembly disposed between upper and lower terminal plates which are disposed between upper and lower end plates. Optionally, spacer plates can be inserted between the end plates and the terminal plates. The end plates and/or the spacer plates may have contoured surfaces to apply a generally uniform compressive load on the fuel cell assembly. The terminal plates, spacer plates, and end plates may be connected together to form rigid end assemblies that compress the fuel cell assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 16, 2003
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Jeffrey A. Rock