Patents Represented by Attorney Saul Schwartz
  • Patent number: 5911789
    Abstract: A linear actuator including a socket on a first element of a motor vehicle steering column, an expandable nut loosely disposed in the socket, and a screw shaft rotatably supported on a second element of the steering column. The expandable nut consists of a front segment facing a distal end of the screw shaft and a back segment behind the front segment. An inside screw thread in the back segment of the expandable nut is angularly phased relative to an inside screw thread in the front segment. The expandable nut self-aligns with the screw shaft when the latter is screwed into the inside screw thread in the front segment. An outboard end of the thread groove in the screw shaft defining the outside screw thread thereon spreads apart the front and back segments of the expandable nut to positions resiliently wedged between the screw shaft and the socket to eliminate lash between the screw shaft and the first element of the steering column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Frank Robert Keipert, James Richard Salois
  • Patent number: 5910637
    Abstract: A fuel vapor storage canister including a mass of carbon granules in a carbon bed chamber of the canister, a liquid trap having a polygonal internal chamber between a vapor inlet port and the carbon bed chamber, and a purge duct traversing the polygonal chamber. The polygonal chamber includes a plurality of three sides which define the gravitational bottom of the chamber in respective ones of a plurality of three orientations of the vapor storage canister. A pick-up tube in the polygonal internal chamber has an outboard end at the convergence of the aforesaid plurality of three sides and an inboard end surrounding an orifice in the vapor purge duct. The inboard end of the pick-up tube is vertically above the maximum level of liquid fuel in the polygonal internal chamber in each of the aforesaid plurality of three orientations of the vapor storage canister.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 8, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas Charles Meiller, Timothy Michael Beadnell, Charles Henry Covert
  • Patent number: 5899116
    Abstract: A connection between a collapsible mast jacket of an energy-absorbing steering column and a body of a motor vehicle including an outboard mounting bracket on the mast jacket having a pair of lateral flanges, a pair of open slots in the lateral flanges each having a pair of side edges interrupted by a plurality of evenly-spaced notches, a pair of capsules in the open slots rigidly clamped to the vehicle body, and a plurality of equally-spaced plastic shear pins on the capsules seated in the notches to couple the capsules to the outboard mounting bracket. Each capsule includes a capsule base having the plastic pins thereon and a separate capsule cover. The linear pitch between the plastic shear pins is the same as the linear pitch between the notches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1997
    Date of Patent: May 4, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Ray Garnet Armstrong, Richard Kremer Riefe
  • Patent number: 5896661
    Abstract: A method of making a steering hand wheel for a motor vehicle having a metal spider, a molded plastic rim, and a plurality of molded plastic spokes integral with the rim and mechanically interlocked with the spider. The method according to this invention includes the steps of extruding a billet having a cross sectional shape matching the profile of the spider, forming the spider by cutting off a flat section of the extruded billet from an end thereof, and insert molding a plastic rim and a plurality of integral plastic spokes around the spider. Each of the plastic spokes has an inboard end molded around a corresponding one of a plurality of spoke bases on the spider with a plurality of integral plastic pins captured in respective ones of a plurality of perforations in the spoke bases to mechanically interlock the spider and the molded plastic spokes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 27, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Barry Christian Worrell, James Kent Conlee, Brian Thomas Finnigan
  • Patent number: 5878832
    Abstract: A steering apparatus for a motor vehicle including a steering column and an electric power assist apparatus. The steering column includes a mast jacket, a steering shaft rotatably supported on the mast jacket, and a steering hand wheel on the steering shaft. The electric power assist apparatus includes a speed reducer on the mast jacket and an electric motor. A worm wheel of the speed reducer is rigidly connected to an output shaft of the speed reducer which, in turn, is connected to a steering gear of the motor vehicle. A worm gear of the speed reducer is driven by the electric motor and meshes with the worm wheel to transfer the torque of the electric motor to the speed reducer output shaft. A tubular reference shaft is rotatably supported on the speed reducer housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 1997
    Date of Patent: March 9, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Leland Nels Olgren, Hamid Vahabzadeh, Madhu Raghavan
  • Patent number: 5857478
    Abstract: A demand responsive flow control valve including a housing in a fluid conduit between a pump and a motor vehicle power steering gear, a flow control orifice in the fluid conduit, and a valve pintle supported on the housing for linear translation. An inboard stop on the housing engageable by the valve pintle defines an active position of the valve pintle, obstructing the flow control orifice and reducing the effective area of the latter. The inboard stop is a tubular sleeve interference fitted in a bore in the housing. The position of the tubular sleeve on the housing corresponding to the active position of the valve pintle is established by inducing linear translation of the tubular sleeve into the bore in the housing as a unit with the valve pintle while monitoring the corresponding flow rate through the fluid conduit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: James Leroy Davison, Ronald Duane Elson
  • Patent number: 5855142
    Abstract: A retainer for a crossover tube of a ball screw between a rack piston and a worm shaft of a motor vehicle power steering gear. The ball screw includes a helical passage between the rack piston and the worm shaft, a U-shaped crossover tube on the rack piston, and a plurality of bearing balls which roll in a ball circuit defined by the helical passage and the crossover tube. The crossover tube retainer is a molded plastic arch straddling a linear segment of the crossover tube having a web bridging the gap between the crossover tube and the rack piston bore. The thrust of the bearing balls urging dislodgment of the crossover tube from the rack piston is reacted against the rack piston bore through the web of the molded plastic arch across a bearing surface of the web having a contour complementary to the contour of the rack piston bore above the molded plastic arch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Joen Christen Bodtker, Walter Edward Fellows
  • Patent number: 5855449
    Abstract: A coupling between a motor vehicle steering shaft and a motor vehicle steering wheel including a primary socket on the steering wheel, a hub on the steering shaft plugged into the primary socket, a pair of V-shaped notches in the plug and in the primary socket cooperating in defining a polygonal chamber, and a cylindrical coil spring wedged in the polygonal chamber. The cylindrical coil spring thrusts the plug laterally against the primary socket to eliminate dimensional clearance, i.e., lash, therebetween. Lugs on the primary socket seat in notches in the plug and cooperate with the coil spring in transferring torque between the hub and the primary socket. A retractor on the steering wheel twists the coil spring to a smaller diameter concurrent with linear translation of the retractor in an arc around the primary socket thereby to reduce the diameter of the coil spring for installation and/or removal of the hub from the primary socket.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Steven Mark Thomas
  • Patent number: 5855375
    Abstract: An outboard seal between a rack bar of a rack and pinion steering gear and a fluid motor cylinder tube around the rack bar. The outboard seal includes an annular bulkhead in an outboard end of the cylinder tube around the rack bar, a metal retaining ring preventing dislodgment of the bulkhead from the cylinder tube by fluid pressure in the cylinder tube, and a seal ring adjacent an end wall of the bulkhead having an outer surface resiliently pressing against the cylinder tube and an inner lip biased against the rack bar by garter spring. A coupling between the seal ring and the bulkhead consists of an annular groove in a cylindrical shoulder on the bulkhead and a flexible lip on the seal ring stretched over the cylindrical shoulder and seated loosely in the annular groove.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Patrick Michael Wilcox, David Michael Kubiak
  • Patent number: 5855451
    Abstract: A coupling between a motor vehicle steering shaft and a motor vehicle steering wheel including a first coupling element on the steering wheel having a cavity therein, a second coupling element on the steering shaft plugged into the cavity in the first coupling element, and a latch responsive to relative rotation between the first and the second coupling elements to couple together for unitary rotation the first and the second coupling elements with substantially zero lash therebetween. The latch includes a plurality of lugs on the second coupling element seated in extensions of the cavity in the first coupling element, a plurality of ramps in the cavity extensions operative to eject the lugs from the cavity extensions concurrent with relative rotation between the first and the second coupling elements, a plurality of sockets in the first coupling element, and a plurality of springs operative to thrust the lugs into corresponding ones of the sockets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: January 5, 1999
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Thomas James Milton, Michael James Wolohan
  • Patent number: 5842536
    Abstract: A power steering gear for a motor vehicle including a pinion head and a spool shaft rotatable relative to each other, a torsion bar between the spool shaft and the pinion head, a valve spool formed integrally on the spool shaft, a valve body closely received on the spool shaft around the valve spool and rotatable relative to the spool shaft, and a tripod joint coupling the valve body to the pinion head for unitary rotation and consisting of three equally angularly spaced slots in an end of the valve body and three equally angularly spaced radial pins on the pinion head each having a spherical lobe closely received in a corresponding one of the slots in the valve body. An inboard end of the spool shaft adjacent the pinion head is unsupported laterally on the pinion head except through the valve body and the tripod joint and, consequently, floats with the valve body in the event of lateral runout between the pinion head and the spool shaft to minimize valve hysteresis attributable to such lateral runout.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1997
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Joel Edward Birsching
  • Patent number: 5829619
    Abstract: An adapter defining a transition between a motor vehicle fuel filler pipe having a concentric vapor exhaust passage and a motor vehicle fuel filler pipe having a parallel vapor exhaust passage. The fuel filler pipe having a parallel vapor exhaust passage includes a rigid stem accessible from outside of the motor vehicle, a flexible hose attached to the rigid stem, and a parallel hose connected to the rigid stem by an upper fluid connector. The filler pipe having a concentric vapor exhaust passage includes a rigid outer tube on the fuel tank and a rigid inner tube inside of the rigid outer tube and cooperating therewith in defining a concentric vapor exhaust passage around the rigid inner tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1997
    Date of Patent: November 3, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Rajendra N. Gupta, R. Donald Hollinger
  • Patent number: 5823703
    Abstract: A shaft coupling including a socket, a first shaft, a plug on a second shaft seated in the socket, and a clamp operative to clamp together the first and the second shafts in the direction of a longitudinal centerline of the shaft coupling to prevent dislodgment of the plug from the socket. The clamp includes an annular first flange on the first shaft, an annular second flange on the second shaft facing the first flange, oppositely facing frustoconical shoulders on the first and the second flanges, a plurality of clamp jaws pivotally mounted on the first shaft arrayed symmetrically around the first and the second flanges each having a closed position inducing radial thrust on the oppositely facing frustoconical shoulders, and springs biasing each of the clamp jaws toward its closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 1997
    Date of Patent: October 20, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Steven Mark Thomas, Kevin Carlton Ross, Michael Francis Slasinski
  • Patent number: 5802848
    Abstract: A motor vehicle hydraulic system including a power steering pump, a reservoir, a steering assist fluid motor, and a second fluid motor for a radiator cooling fan. A flow control valve remote from the power steering pump divides the total fluid flow from the power steering pump into a high flow branch and a low flow branch. Fluid circulates in the low flow branch at a substantially constant flow rate for a proportional control valve for the steering assist fluid motor and returns to the reservoir through an unrestricted tubular boss on the reservoir. Fluid in the high flow branch issues as a jet stream from a nozzle on the reservoir into a venturi passage submerged in fluid in the reservoir. The venturi passage is connected to an inlet port of the power steering pump. The jet stream aspirates fluid from the reservoir into the venturi passage. The kinetic energy of the jet stream is converted into superatmospheric pressure at the inlet port of the power steering pump to suppress cavitation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Kevin Mark McClendon, James Leroy Davison, Robert Edward Beyerlein, Tom Cheuk-In Wong, Allan Lee Dickinson, Albert Cheuk-Yin Wong, Carl David Tarum, James Michael Shea, David Fredrick Hammerbacher
  • Patent number: 5803496
    Abstract: An energy-absorbing steering column for a motor vehicle including a housing, an energy absorber between the housing and a body structure of the motor vehicle, a box-shaped bracket on the body structure surrounding a first end of the housing for vertical support, and a horizontal rod on the housing near a second end thereof, the lateral ends of which are seated on horizontal shoulders of a pair of vertical hangers on the body structure for vertical support of the second end of the housing. A cam is rotatably supported on the horizontal rod and locked in a retracted position by a retainer until the housing achieves vertical support on the body structure by the box-shaped bracket and the horizontal shoulders of the vertical hangers. When the retainer is withdrawn from the cam, a torsion spring rotates the cam to a position wedged between the body structure and the housing to eliminate vertical lash.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: William David Cymbal
  • Patent number: 5802949
    Abstract: A closed center power steering gear having a spool shaft connected to a steering wheel of the motor vehicle, a pinion head connected to steered wheels of the motor vehicle, and a control valve between a fluid accumulator and a working chamber of a steering assist fluid motor. The control valve includes a poppet on the spool shaft having closed and open positions blocking and permitting, respectively, flow from the accumulator to the fluid motor working chamber, a cam on the pinion head, a cam follower on the spool shaft, and a pressure control spring between the cam follower and the poppet. The cam, the cam follower, and the pressure control spring cooperate during relative rotation between the spool shaft and the pinion head to shift the poppet to its open position. Boost pressure in the fluid motor working chamber increases and reacts against the poppet to compress the pressure control spring and shift the poppet to its closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 1996
    Date of Patent: September 8, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Alan Crary Davis, Dennis Charles Eckhardt, Randy Scott Miller
  • Patent number: 5788917
    Abstract: A method of making a plastic article having an internal conduit for electrical wires including the steps of forming a mold cavity in the shape of the plastic article having a surface area segment defining a passage in the mold cavity, injecting hot liquid plastic into the mold cavity which is quenched by the surface area segment of the mold cavity to form a solidified tubular wall in the passage having liquid plastic therein, injecting gas at the first site in the mold cavity into the liquid plastic in the tubular wall to expel liquid plastic from within the tubular wall so that an elongated gas-filled void is formed within the tubular wall, sustaining the elongated gas-filled void until all of the liquid plastic in the mold cavity solidifies, removing the plastic article from the mold cavity, and opening the elongated voids at opposite ends by drilling or otherwise machining the plastic article to convert the elongated void into an internal conduit for the electrical wires.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Russell Lee Herlache
  • Patent number: 5787865
    Abstract: A passively filled reservoir in a motor vehicle fuel tank. The fuel tank has an electric fuel pump suspended therein and a tubular conduit through which surplus fuel is returned to the fuel tank. The passively filled reservoir includes a fuel containment vessel below the fuel pump, a passive fill port in the containment vessel juxtaposed a bottom panel of the fuel tank, a one-way valve in the passive fill port, a primary strainer around the containment vessel, and a secondary strainer inside of the containment vessel. The tubular conduit and a vapor discharge port of the electric fuel pump discharge into the containment vessel outside of the secondary strainer for recirculation to the fuel pump of surplus fuel and liquid fuel expelled from the fuel pump through the vapor discharge port. The primary strainer strains liquid fuel flowing through the passive fill port into the containment vessel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: David Edward Harris, Randall Lee Dockery, Douglas James Golla
  • Patent number: 5788279
    Abstract: A steering bearing between a bracket on a steering column tube and a support on a body of a motor vehicle. The bracket has a slot therein and the steering bearing includes a metal bearing bottom having a rest surface bearing flush against a first side of the bracket and a raised rest in the slot with a second side of the bracket and a collar raised above the raised rest, an elongated slot through the metal bearing bottom, a fastening bolt on the support passing through the elongated slot and clamping the metal bearing bottom against the support, a plastic insert rigidly attached to the bearing bottom seated flush on the raised rest having a tear-off surface which cooperates with the rest surface on the metal bearing bottom in defining a slot for the bracket on the steering column tube, an aperture in the bracket on the steering column tube, and a tear-off body integral with the tear-off surface received in the aperture in the bracket to retain the bracket relative to the plastic insert.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: Genernal Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Gunter Pfannebecker
  • Patent number: 5787759
    Abstract: A position control apparatus for an adjustable steering column including a first toothed rack, a cam block shiftable in linear translation toward and away from the first toothed rack, a rack shoe having a second toothed rack thereon mounted on the cam block for linear translation therewith and for pivotal movement relative thereto, and a spring biasing the rack shoe to a tilted position on the cam block. An end tooth of the second toothed rack engages a mating tooth of the first toothed rack when the cam block is advanced toward the first toothed rack. The force reaction of the mating tooth on the end tooth pivots the rack shoe relative to the cam block to a position parallel to the first toothed rack in which the first and the second toothed racks mesh.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: August 4, 1998
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Leland Nels Olgren