Patents Examined by Daniel G. DePumpo
  • Patent number: 6851499
    Abstract: A pair of arms extend from the lid for the oil filler port, and these arms are rotatably mounted on the vehicle body cover via the hinges. The hinge for supporting one of the arms is provided with a torsion spring for urging the lid in the opening direction, and the hinge for supporting the other arm is provided with a rotary damper for damping a speed of rotation of the lid. Since the hinged lid for a vehicle rotates smoothly in natural motion, which gives an upscale image, a hinged lid for a vehicle providing, for example, a feeling of operation suitable for the large scooter may be realized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2005
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Katsuichi Yagisawa, Akira Komaki, Kengo Yano, Hiroshi Inaoka
  • Patent number: 6851508
    Abstract: An electrically driven power steering apparatus is structured such that a large impact on a rack shaft (22) occurs upon an impingement of a steering stopper, and, even when an axial force acting on a ball bearing (25) of a presser member (30) becomes zero, a rotation of the presser member (30) is hindered by caulking c at a thin plate member (30b). Therefore, the presser member (30) does not slacken, and a predetermined axial force can be given again to the ball bearing (25) when the impact dissipates. The thus structured power steering apparatus exhibiting, though the cost is low, an excellent shockproof characteristic and capable of preventing the bearing from coming off a ball screw nut, can be provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2005
    Assignee: NSK Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshihiro Fukuda, Shuji Endo, Hiroshi Eda, Osamu Tatewaki, Kenichi Hayakawa, Hirotaka Hatano
  • Patent number: 6848523
    Abstract: A walk-behind working machine has a drive source, wheels rotationally driven by the drive source, and a traveling clutch for transmitting driving power from the drive source to the wheels. A driving member is disposed in the case and has a first friction surface. A driven member is mounted in the case for undergoing rotation relative to the driving member and has a second friction surface positioned to be brought into surface contact with the first friction surface at a preselected surface pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2005
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Tomoaki Ishikawa, Kazuyoshi Miyahara, Susumu Ohkubo, Hiromitsu Sasaki
  • Patent number: 6846001
    Abstract: A vehicle trailer hitch including an aluminum tubular U-shaped strut and a cast aluminum receiver mounted thereto. Ends of the strut tube are flatted to form integral planar mounting flanges for mounting the hitch to a vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Assignee: Alcoa Inc.
    Inventors: Dinesh C. Seksaria, John W. Cobes, Robert P. Evert, Walter R. Reichelt, Jeffrey M. Shoup, Kirit N. Shah
  • Patent number: 6840338
    Abstract: A half-track all-terrain vehicle having an independent suspension system that provides an improved vehicle ride and facilitates traversing obstacles. The vehicle includes a frame, a pair of beams that each holds front and rear wheels, and a suspension system extending between the each beam and the frame. The suspension system includes a plurality of cushions. The cushions are tuned such that forward cushions have a relatively greater suspension stroke than the rearward cushions and thereby permit the front wheels to engage the ground sequentially before the rear wheels when the vehicle goes over a step or drop off. The suspension system is further tuned to permit the vehicle to traverse an obstacle having a height that is slightly lower than the frame clearance by permitting the front wheels to lift vertically to a distance essentially equal to the frame clearance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Lee N. Bowers, Mark Kittel, Hidefumi Ishii
  • Patent number: 6840339
    Abstract: A towbar head for a towbar-guided industrial truck includes control elements located on the towbar head. The control elements control various functions of the industrial truck such as the propulsion and/or the controls for a lifting device. The control elements are effectively connected to signal generators (4, 5) to generate electrical control signals. The invention teaches that there are at least two signal generators (4, 5) which are preferably in the form of membrane switches located on a common circuit board (3). In one embodiment, at least-one membrane switch has a plurality of contact areas 4b, 5b) located on the common circuit board (3). The common circuit board (3) has at least one contact membrane (13) that can be electrically connected with a contact surface (4a, 4b, 5a, 5b) or a resistance track by a pressure force exerted on the contact membrane (13). Preferably, all the signal generators located on the common circuit board (3) are in the form of membrane switches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Still & Saxby S.A.R.L.
    Inventors: Hartmut Nedele, Pierre Maller, Edgar Weber, Eugen Schöller, Frederic Bruder
  • Patent number: 6840347
    Abstract: A vehicle steering apparatus is provided with a transmitting ratio variable gear ratio mechanism in a steering force transmitting system, and a lock mechanism which limits relative rotation between an input shaft and an output shaft of the steering force transmitting system. In the lock mechanism is provided a lock holder which rotates together with a rotor of a motor, and in which is formed a plurality of first indented portions in a circumferential direction along the circumference and a second indented portion indented deeper than the first indented portions at one end portion of each of the first indented portions. In the lock mechanism is also provided a lock arm which is provided on a stator side of the motor and which engages with the one of the first indented portions or second indented portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 11, 2005
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Masatoshi Nakatsu, Junji Kawamuro, Takahiro Kojo
  • Patent number: 6834876
    Abstract: A gear shift control apparatus comprises a shift command input that receives shift commands indicating a desired gear shift operation, a control output that outputs controls signals that control a gear shift unit to shift the bicycle transmission, a gear shift monitor that monitors a progress of a gear shift operation by the gear shift unit, and a gear shift controller operatively coupled to the shift command input, to the control output, and to the gear shift monitor. The gear shift controller receives a shift command and outputs a control signal that controls the operation of the gear shift unit to shift the bicycle transmission to a target gear. The gear shift controller modifies the control signal when the gear shift controller receives a second shift command corresponding to a second target gear that differs from a first target gear corresponding to a first shift command and the gear shift operation initiated by the first shift command has not completed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2004
    Assignee: Shimano, Inc.
    Inventor: Masahiko Fukuda
  • Patent number: 6832774
    Abstract: A vehicle convertible between a bicycle and a scooter includes a frame constructed of a rigid material. The frame comprises a laterally extending post, a pair of spaced apart support tubes formed onto the post, and a footboard fixedly mounted onto the support tubes. Each support tube includes a first section which extends down and forward from the post at an angle of approximately 20 degrees and a second section which extends horizontally forward from the first section. A front fork is mounted onto the frame and supports a handlebar assembly. A front wheel is rotatably mounted onto the front fork and a rear wheel is rotatably mounted onto the frame, each wheel being approximately 12 inches in diameter. A seat assembly is mounted onto the frame and is capable of being pivotally displaced. A pedal assembly is mounted onto the post and serves to rotatably drive the rear wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Inventor: Eric R. Zaccagnini
  • Patent number: 6832662
    Abstract: An electric power steering apparatus with an electric motor generating an assistant steering force for transmission to the steering system, a worm shaft rotated by the electric motor, a worm gear on the worm shaft that rotates therewith, a worm wheel rotated by the worm gear, a pinion shaft that rotates with the worm gear, supporting units that support both ends of the worm shaft so as to allow rotation thereof, and a distortion prevention unit that prevents distortion of the worm shaft. The supporting units may support the ends of the worm shaft without play.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 21, 2004
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yasuo Shimizu, Katsuji Watanabe, Yasuhiro Terada
  • Patent number: 6820889
    Abstract: A hitch assembly that is specially designed for transporting large and heavy manufactured housing units. The hitch assembly is of a one piece unitary construction that includes angularly extending sides that define an included angle of between approximate 50 and 60 degrees so that it can be interconnected with the structural members of standard, prior art hitch assemblies, which also define an included angle of between approximately 50 and 60 degrees.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 23, 2004
    Inventor: Ronald Anderson
  • Patent number: 6814176
    Abstract: In a transfer case the ring gear of the crown wheel and the meshing pinion are arranged on that side of the ring gear carrier of the crown wheel that faces away from the center of the differential gear of the transfer case. Stated simply, the pinion and the ring gear of the crown wheel are arranged so as to be “reflected”, that is, on the “other side” of the ring gear carrier of the crown wheel, as compared to a conventional differential gear. This feature allows the pinion shaft to be mounted rigidly and, thus, optimized for noise and efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Juergen Greil
  • Patent number: 6814177
    Abstract: A vehicle steering system has a steering grip, in particular a steering wheel, which is operated by the driver, an actuating unit which operates steered vehicle wheels, and a manual force regulator which is coupled via a flexible coupling element with the steering grip and simulates parameter-dependent steering forces on the steering grip. A damping device is provided for reducing the formation of vibrations between the steering grip and the manual force regulator. The damping device interacts with the steering grip either directly or indirectly to damp relative motions between the steering grip and the manual force regulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 9, 2004
    Assignee: DaimlerChrysler AG
    Inventors: Hubert Bohner, Martin Moser
  • Patent number: 6799656
    Abstract: A control apparatus for a motor-driven power steering system of a motor vehicle includes a steering angular information detecting means (16) for detecting steering angular information of a steering mechanism (3), a controller (10) for controlling a motor current on the basis of the steering angular information and magnitude and direction of a steering torque, an electric motor (7) operatively coupled to the steering mechanism (3) for generating a steering assist torque (Ta) corresponding to the motor current, the assist torque being applied to a steering wheel, a motor-rotational information detecting means (101) for detecting rotational information of the electric motor (7), and an abnormality decision means (17) designed to make decision that the steering angular information detecting means (16; 15) is abnormal when a difference between the steering angular information and the motor rotational information is not smaller than a reference value preset for comparison of both the information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2004
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Denki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kazushi Kimura, Kazunori Miura, Shigeki Ohtagaki
  • Patent number: 6796574
    Abstract: A receiver tube for a trailer hitch assembly including a hollow metal tube stock wherein the receiving end thereof is provided with a cold formed reinforcing flange formed of the outermost end of the tube stock is folded upon itself.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2004
    Assignee: Jems of Litchfield
    Inventor: David H. Palmer
  • Patent number: 6789641
    Abstract: A method for controlling an electric assist motor (50) for providing steering assist in response to a sensed torque signal (&tgr;s) includes the step of filtering the sensed torque signal to provide a low frequency torque signal (&tgr;sL) and a high frequency torque signal (&tgr;sH). A low frequency assist torque signal (&tgr;assistLF) is determined as a function of the low frequency torque signal (&tgr;sL). A high frequency assist gain signal (Kmax) is determined as a function of the sensed torque signal (&tgr;s) and a sensed vehicle speed (&ngr;).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2004
    Assignee: TRW Inc.
    Inventor: Kevin M McLaughlin
  • Patent number: 6779808
    Abstract: At least one limited articulating female hitch mechanism and trailer for mounting to a conventional trailer hitch male connection member mounted on a towing vehicle. The hitch mechanisms are pivotal in only the vertical plane. The combination comprises a trailer having a horizontally disposed load supporting frame mounting of swivel (or 360 degree horizontally rotating) wheel assemblies about 360 degrees. This arrangement, coupled with the hitch mechanism, assures the trailer tracks the towing vehicle so that the sides of the towing vehicle and the sides of the trailer remain constantly parallel to each other Reduced trailer size and weight, reduced storage requirements, ease of backup maneuvering and avoidance of road hazards, vehicles, pedestrians and objects is thus facilitated by such arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 18, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2004
    Inventor: Steven Elliott Connor
  • Patent number: 6776429
    Abstract: A bicycle includes a stem extending downwardly from a handle, and a crank mechanism interconnecting the stem and a head tube. The crank mechanism includes a frame fixed on the head tube, a lever pivoted to a front end of the frame and extending uprightly therefrom, a crank pivoted to the rear end of the frame and extending uprightly therefrom, and a coupler member pivoted to an upper end of the crank and movably connected to an upper end of the lever so as to permit co-movement of the lever, the crank and the coupler member relative to the frame and so as to permit frontward and rearward movement of the handle together with the stem relative to the head tube. A locking unit is selectively and movably connected to two of the frame, the lever, the crank and the coupler member, and is operable between locking and unlocking positions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: Giant Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Joe Chou
  • Patent number: 6767024
    Abstract: A bicycle front suspension system includes two cylinders on the front fork and each cylinder includes an outer tube and an inner tube which is movably received in the outer tube. A cap is rotatably connected to the inner tube and connected to a rod. A control cable is connected between the cap and a lever which is rotatably engaged in a collar on the handlebar of the bicycle. The lever is rotated to operate the control cable so as to rotate the cap and the rod. The rotation of the rod controls the communication between two chambers in the inner tube so that the hydraulic fluid is controlled to make the cylinder to be locked or operative.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Inventor: Yung-Pin Kuo
  • Patent number: RE38669
    Abstract: This invention relates to front fork, telescoping type suspension systems for bicycles. The main focus of the invention is the brake bridge assembly, the fork crown assembly and the joinder of these assemblies to form the fork suspension. The brake bridge assembly serves two main functions: 1) it provides a stiff structural connection between the right and left telescoping struts, to reduce wheel wobble during high speed wheel impacts, and 2) it provides a structural support for the brake cable stop. The invention provides for increased stiffness and lower stresses in the brake bridge, which translates into improved directional stability for the front wheel, less displacement for the brake cable stop .(when the brake loads are applied) and improved fatigue life for the assembly. It also provides for a simpler and less expensive means for mounting the brake bridge to the fork assembly. The invention also encompasses the fork crown producing a lightweight structure with high torsional and bending rigidity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 14, 2004
    Inventors: Darrell W. Voss, Gary G. Klein