Patents Assigned to Wickes Manufacturing Company
  • Patent number: 5375418
    Abstract: A vehicle convertible top is moved by hydraulic cylinders between extreme raised and lowered positions. The cylinder ends are connected to ports in a reversible hydraulic pump in one end of an elongated housing, which has a reservoir in the other end, separated by a pump cap. The pump cap houses two fluid circuits connecting the pump to the ends of the cylinders. Each circuit has an end of cycle hydraulic locking device comprising a normally-closed valve and a valve actuator. The circuit valves are alternately opened by pump pressure to pressurize one end of the cylinders to alternately raise and lower the top. The opened valve closes when the pump ceases operation, preventing fluid backflow through the one circuit to the pump. This hydraulically locks the top in extreme raised and lowered positions to facilitate top latching and tonneau installation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 27, 1994
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Robert E. Shelhart, Carl J. Klug
  • Patent number: 5322337
    Abstract: A convertible vehicle includes a U-shaped top storage well having rear and side edges that are defined by body sheet metal, a front edge defined by the vehicle rear seat, and forwardly-projecting side quarter portions having a front and spaced side walls. A boot for covering the stored top comprises a semi-rigid laminate of vinyl and foam layers having a smooth top surface. The bottom surface has two longitudinal grooves enabling folding for storage. The periphery of the rear surface has spaced indentations between the grooves for locating and mounting peripheral C-shaped clips which grip the well rear and side edges, and quarter side and front walls. A tongue is mounted on the boot front edge and includes a latch bead. The tongue is inserted into the slot of a receiver mounted on the rear seat back. The receiver comprises a base having a recess for receiving the latch bead and an opposing flexible wall which clamps the tongue to latch the bead into the recess.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 21, 1994
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Stephen P. Rawlings, Steven J. Skornicka
  • Patent number: 5284378
    Abstract: A latch mechanism for latching a convertible top header to a vehicle windshield header comprises a latch hook receiver mounted adjacent to each end of the windshield header and a pair of movable latch members each having a free end mounting a hook. A mounting bracket located adjacent to each end of the top header has an elongated base slot and an intersecting curvilinear branch slot adjacent to its outer end. A guide pin and a spaced drive pin are carried by each latch member. The guide pin is received within the base slot and the drive pin is received within the branch slot in the unlatched position. A drive link is connected to each latch member drive pin. Operation of the drive link pivots the latch members about the guide pins until the drive pins enter the base slots and terminally slide both pins toward the inner ends of the base slots to move the latch members from unlatched to latched positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 1992
    Date of Patent: February 8, 1994
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Robert H. Sautter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5279119
    Abstract: A vehicle convertible top has hydraulic cylinders for moving the top between extreme raised and lowered positions. The cylinders each have a pair of fluid translating ports each connected to ports in an elongated housing. A reversible hydraulic pump is in one end of the housing, while a reservoir is in the other end, separated by a pump cap. The pump cap houses two fluid circuits each connected to a housing port and each including an end of cycle hydraulic locking device which comprises a normally-closed valve and a valve actuator in each circuit. In one direction of pump operation, one of the valves is opened by pressure fluid in the one circuit to enable the outflow of the pressure fluid to the cylinders. The other valve is forced open by its actuator, in response to pressure in the one circuit, to enable the return flow of fluid to the pump through the other circuit. The one valve closes when the pump ceases operation, preventing fluid backflow through the one circuit to the pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: January 18, 1994
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Robert E. Shelhart, Carl J. Klug
  • Patent number: 5154479
    Abstract: A latch mechanism for latching a convertible top headed to a windshield header includes an electric motor mounted centrally on the top header which is drivingly connected by flexible drive shafts to side-rail-mounted latch units. Each latch unit includes a transmission connected to a drive shaft and an output drive screw which drives a drive nut and an attached drive link. The drive link is pivotally attached to a side-rail-mounted bell crank that is pivoted to a J-hook. Selective operation of the electric motor will cause the drive screw to shift the drive nut and drive link to move the J-hook between an extended and retracted positions. In extended position, the J-hook can be retracted to engage a windshield header abutment to latch the headers together, or retracted within the side rail for top retraction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: October 13, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Robert H. Sautter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5137293
    Abstract: A step support for mounting an exterior assist step on a vehicle body structure comprises a U-shaped tubular support member having a pair of intermediate portions interconnecting a step-supporting portion and a pair of spaced free ends which are mounted to the body structure, with the intermediate and step-supporting portions projecting outwardly of the vehicle. A plurality of pairs of aligned upper and lower through holes are formed in the step-supporting portion for receiving bolts therethrough to mount the step on the support. A reinforcing collar is formed integrally on the tubing adjacent each through hole by flow drilling to enable tightening of the fasteners to clamp the step and support together without deforming the tubing. A pair of auxiliary support stirrups are each welded to the tubular support member and have their free ends adjustably mounted on the body structure to the body structure to provide a 4-point mounting of the tubular support member on the body structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 11, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Lee K. Graves, John W. Frankila
  • Patent number: 5130909
    Abstract: An emergency aid, in the form of a lighting strip arranged along the floor of a predetermined escape route, is provided for guiding the escape of occupants from a confined area during conditions of severely reduced visibility. The strip comprises a plurality of spaced light-emitting elements, each being an L.E.D. emitting a beam having an axial intensity of at least 0.12 candela and a full cone angle no greater than 24 degrees. Each element includes an exernal reflector, in the form of a spaced prism or a metal reflector mounted on the element, located along its beam axis and angled with respect thereto for deflecting the emitted light at a predetermined angle. In one embodiment the elements are arranged in pairs facing each other with their beam axes parallel to the axis of the strip and their reflectors between them.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: H. Gerald Gross
  • Patent number: 5129389
    Abstract: A release comprises cylindrical first and second connectors having supply passages, one of which is mounted on the supply tube and the other of which is mounted on the mask. The first connector has a cylindrical chamber for receiving a cylindrical portion of the second connector to connect the connectors and operatively connect the tube to the mask to enable supply of breathing gas to the mask. The second connector has a groove formed in its outer surface for receiving a split spring ring carried by the first connector. The free ends of the arms of the split ring have cam surfaces. A spring is mounted on the second connector and is compressed by insertion of the second connector. An unlocking device comprises an electrically-actuated explosive device carried within the first connector and a wedge which is projected against the cam surfaces upon actuation to force the spring arms apart, to force the split ring out of the groove.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Kurt Tauscher, Daniel H. Meggs, Douglas G. Scheid
  • Patent number: 5110175
    Abstract: A convertible vehicle has a body with a passenger compartment, a pair of passenger access doors each having a window and a pair of rear quarter windows, all mounted on the body for movement between raised and lowered positions. A folding top is mounted on the body for movement between a raised position covering the passenger compartment and a lowered position opening the passenger compartment. A hydraulic system includes a hydraulic pump, two hydraulic top actuators for raising and lowering the top, and a pair of hydraulic window actuators operatively connected to the quarter windows for raising and lowering the windows with less pressure than required to raise and lower the top. A hydraulic circuit connects all of the cylinders in parallel which enables sequential operation of the windows and then the top. A three-position control switch enables the windows to be lowered and raised when the top is in raised or lowered position by moving the control to respective "down" and "up" positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: May 5, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Roderick C. Fischbach
  • Patent number: 5100195
    Abstract: A convertible vehicle has a convertible top assembly movable between raised and lowered positions covering and opening the passenger compartment. The top assembly has an articulated frame comprising a header for engaging a vehicle windshield header in raised position, a plurality of transverse bows, and a fabric cover supported by the bows. The cover is attached to the frame by strips of hook-and-loop fastener material mounted on the top header and the transverse bows which engage mating strips of the material mounted on adjacent portions of the cover for interengagement to form attachment joints securing the cover to the frame. The rear edge of the cover is attached to a movable rear bow which seals against the vehicle body in one embodiment. In another embodiment the rear edge of the cover is attached to the periphery of the boot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 31, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Jayant M. Patel
  • Patent number: 5097572
    Abstract: A parachute canopy strap connecting device comprises a male strap connector having a locking tang including a locking notch, a female strap connector having a housing including a slot for receiving the tang for insertion to a locking position, and a locking lever having a handle mounted on the housing and including a lock shoulder movable into and out of the slot as the locking lever is moved between extreme lock and unlock positions. A spring are provided to bias the locking lever to lock position, and a cover lever is mounted on the housing for movement between positions covering and uncovering the locking lever handle. A second spring biases the cover lever to covering position, and a blocking pawl is mounted on the housing for movement between a normal biased position, blocking movement of the locking lever from unlock to lock positions, and an unblocking position forced by engagement of a contact surface by the locking tang, upon its insertion to locking position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1989
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: James C. Warrick
  • Patent number: 5081792
    Abstract: A guide attached to a vehicle window slides along a slotted vertical track and is pulled by a cable to raise and lower the window. A pulley-like cable holder is rotatably mounted on the guide and the cable is wrapped on the holder to impose a rotational moment on the holder. The holder carries a pin which rides in the track slot to prevent rotation during window raising and lowering so that only vertical movement occurs. A lateral slot arm extending from the slot receives the pin when the window is fully raised and allows the holder to rotate. A cam responsive to the holder rotation moves the window horizontally to or from its outer closed position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 21, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Mark fA. Huebner
  • Patent number: 5067768
    Abstract: A power actuating system automatically moves a convertible top and a tonneau in a sequence in which the tonneau is closed both when the top is raised and lowered and wherein the power actuating system includes plural power cylinders and a linkage mechanism for moving the convertible top and tonneau in a sequence including moving the tonneau from its closed position to a raised open position, thereafter moving the top from lowered position to raised position with the top rear bow partially raised, then moving the rear bow to fully raised position to provide clearance for movement of the tonneau to its closed position, moving the tonneau to its closed position, and finally moving the rear bow to its lowered position for engagement with the car body adjacent the tonneau.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 1989
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1991
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Roderick C. Fischbach
  • Patent number: 5038519
    Abstract: A cable-type regulator assembly for controlling the movement of a window panel in a vehicle door assembly which incorporates an automatic adjustment bracket to compensate for dimensional variations of components associated with the window panel. The bracket is adjustably mounted on a glider assembly slidably mounted in a track of an elongated rail mounted in the door. The body of the glider assembly is connected to the window panel adjustment bracket by a pair of rivets fitted into associated elongated slots in the bracket and through spider-like spring washers between the heads of the rivets and the adjustment bracket. The rivets and slots permit inboard and outboard, fore and aft and limited pivotal movement of the window assembly during operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1990
    Date of Patent: August 13, 1991
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Mark A. Huebner
  • Patent number: 5016392
    Abstract: A window regulator track has a vertical slot with a lateral turn at the top to form a cam, an elongated follower in the slot which rotates when it reaches the cam, a carrier pivotally attached to the follower and pulled by a vertical reach of a driving cable to move the follower in the slot, and a helical cam arrangement coupled to the window and attached to the follower to generate outward movement of the window during the rotation of the follower in the cam.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 1990
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1991
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Gary R. Thomas, Mark A. Huebner
  • Patent number: 4987865
    Abstract: A piston assembly (10) of the type for reciprocating in an internal combustion engine. The assembly (10) includes an integral aluminum head (12) and skirt (14). The skirt (14) has an outer surface for engaging a cylinder wall which includes a plurality of pointed ridges (24). The pointed ridges (24) extend annularly about the skirt (14) and are each separated by a valley (26). The ridges (24) and valleys (26) are coated with a fluorocarbon polymer. The piston therefore has an improved wear surface for increasing the efficiency of the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 1989
    Date of Patent: January 29, 1991
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Jerry Schenkel
  • Patent number: 4986029
    Abstract: A powered cross-arm window regulator assembly for a vehicle door having a unitized spacer and isolator of an engineering plastic material interposed between the motor and the sector gear and the support bracket of the assembly. This spacer and isolator dissipate some vibrational energy of the drive assembly and provides a cushioned and quiet downstop for the sector gear. The isolator presents a low friction bearing which contacts one side of the sector gear and cooperates with a low friction bearing on the bracket to provide a supporting guide for the sector gear therebetween during its pivotal operation in raising and lowering the window allowing the gear to be made with a large centralized cutout so that its mass is reduced. Furthermore, the isolator has locating pins to assist in the assembly of the regulator assembly insuring that it is properly put together for optimized operational efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 1990
    Date of Patent: January 22, 1991
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Herbert A. Richter
  • Patent number: 4975545
    Abstract: A relay assembly is provided which is sealed against undesirable contaminants. The assembly includes a rigid housing having an opening, an electromagnetic relay positioned within the housing, and a cover membrane sealed to the housing and preventing contaminants from entering the housing through the opening. The relay includes contacts which project through the housing opening and through small contact openings, defined in the membrane. The relay assembly is assembled by pushing the contacts of the relay through the contact openings of the membrane, and then mounting the relay/membrane assembly to the housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 1988
    Date of Patent: December 4, 1990
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventors: Endy China, Alan Lo
  • Patent number: 4955658
    Abstract: An adjustable foot rest for an occupant of an automobile has a floor board, comprising an inflatable bladder mounted on the floor board, a foot pad mounted on the chamber for engagement by the occupant's foot, and mean for variably inflating the bladder to selectively position the foot pad. The inflating means comprises a source of compressed air, air distribution means including a valve for selectively connecting the chamber to the source and to atmosphere, and control means controlling operation of the valve to selectively position the foot pad. The inflatable bladder has a plurality of flexible chamber arranged in accordion fashion to enable substantially linear movement of the foot pad between extreme inflated and deflated positions. The foot pad and bladder are imbedded in a carpet cutout in the floor board for movement of the foot pad between a deflated position substantially flush with the carpet surface and a fully inflated position substantially displaced above the carpet surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 28, 1989
    Date of Patent: September 11, 1990
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Lee K. Graves
  • Patent number: RE34033
    Abstract: A manually foldable top for automobile vehicles is disclosed which includes a pivot bracket for installing the top on a vehicle body and further includes a spring assembly operatively attached to a side arm assembly for movement of the foldable top from a closed position to an open position; an arcuate slotted hinge mechanism for moving a back window on the foldable top between an open and a closed position, including a seal for forming a sealed window when the window is in the closed position; a linkage and securing assembly for securing the top to the vehicle body when the top is in the closed position; and, a camming bolt for adjusting the position of the foldable top with respect to the vehicle body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1992
    Assignee: Wickes Manufacturing Company
    Inventor: Robert G. Godette