Patents Examined by Ross Weaver
  • Patent number: 4732232
    Abstract: A tiltable shift lever assembly for operating a transmission of a vehicle, including a shift lever disposed between a driver's seat and a front passenger's seat, so as to extend generally upward when placed in its operative position. The shift lever is supported pivotally about a first pivot axis substantially parallel to a transverse direction of the vehicle. The shift lever has an upper portion having a knob, a lower portion operatively connected to the transmission, and a coupling connecting the upper and lower portions such that the upper portion is pivotable, about a second pivot axis substantially parallel to a longitudinal direction of the vehicle. A fixed guide member is disposed above the coupling of the shift lever, and has a guide slot formed in a direction substantially parallel to the longitudinal direction of the vehicle. The upper portion of the shift lever extends through the guide slot, and is guided by the guide slot for a pivotal movement of the shift lever about the first pivot axis.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 1987
    Date of Patent: March 22, 1988
    Assignees: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, Mannoh Kogyo Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Junichi Miyagi, Zenichi Nobata, Motoharu Akiyama, Yoshitaka Sekiya
  • Patent number: 4730845
    Abstract: This anchoring device, in which a maintaining member is disposed between a guiding rail (5) and a device for driving a slidable unit including a tongue, comprises a case (25) having a front side (26) in which is provided a slot (27) through which the tongue projects and of which the edges define two bearing surfaces adapted to cooperate with the tongue so as to withstand tensile forces exerted on the tongue. This device further comprises a device (32) for locking the slidable unit in an active position, adapted to prevent the displacement of the unit in a direction parallel to the guiding and retaining rail (5).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 15, 1988
    Assignee: Aciers et Outillage Peugeot
    Inventor: Joseph J. Betencourt
  • Patent number: 4730690
    Abstract: An arrangement for sensing an object relative to the side of a vehicle requires physical contact between the arrangement and the object. Therefore, mechanically operated object sensing arrangements are prone to damage, frequent malfunctions, and premature failure. An object sensing arrangement for identifying an object within a preselected minimum distance spaced from a first side of a vehicle has first reflective target movably connected to the first side at a location on the first side adjacent a first end portion, and a first connecting apparatus movably connects a first signaling apparatus to the first side at a first location on the first side adjacent a frame second end portion. The first signaling apparatus delivers a first signal to the first reflective target and receives a reflection of the first delivered signal from the first reflective target.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 15, 1988
    Assignee: Caterpillar Industrial Inc.
    Inventors: Robert L. McNutt, John E. Wible
  • Patent number: 4729579
    Abstract: An axle lift mechanism for use in a vehicle having a suspension system which is mounted to the vehicle for movement between a load-bearing and nonload-bearing relationship. The lift mechanism has a toggle linkage pivotably coupled to the frame and to the suspension system for movement of the axle between load-bearing and nonload-bearing positions. The toggle linkage is biased to the nonload-bearing position through a compression coil spring which is mounted in a housing and is received within a spring cup within the housing. A wear plate, preferably made of a lubricating plastic material, is mounted on the spring cup between the wear plate and the housing to avoid wear between the housing wall and spring cup. The coil spring is tapered between one end which bears against an end of the housing and the spring cup end so that the coil spring does not rub against the housing wall during oscillation of the spring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 3, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 8, 1988
    Assignee: Lear Siegler, Inc.
    Inventors: Lyle M. Hagan, William C. Pierce
  • Patent number: 4728122
    Abstract: Driver's knee guard in cab of tractor-trailer rig. A metal sheet extends around the steering wheel and controls and is secured at its opposite ends to the dashboard. Foam rubber separates the inner side of the metal sheet from the steering wheel and controls, and leather-like material covers the outer side of the metal sheet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1988
    Inventor: James N. Wright
  • Patent number: 4728120
    Abstract: A suspension controller for a vehicle is provided to effectively absorb vibrations such as resonant vibration of the mass of the wheel when the wheel is not on the ground, namely, "resonant vibration of unsprung mass". The suspension controller includes: a vehicle height detection means at a front wheel; a vehicle height determination means for comparing the vehicle height with a predetermined reference value; a cycle time determination means for detecting the cycle time of the vehicle height signal and for comparing the detected cycle time with a predetermined reference value; a control means for generating a suspension characteristic alteration signal based upon the vehicle height determination result and the cycle time determination result; and a suspension characteristic alteration means for altering a suspension characteristic of the vehicle in response to the suspension characteristic alteration signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 1, 1988
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Shuuichi Buma, Toshio Onuma, Kaoru Ohashi, Masami Itou
  • Patent number: 4726441
    Abstract: An improved dual control driving system is provided for a combustion engine powered vehicle moveable on wheels and having a pair of steering systems, a pair of braking systems and a pair of accelerator systems. The steering systems work in tandem with each other; the braking systems work in tandem with each other. The accelerator systems, however, work independently of each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1988
    Inventor: Challie Conley
  • Patent number: 4726438
    Abstract: A foot-supporting body in a motor vehicle is provided which is capable of supporting both feet of a passenger while reducing the intrusion depth, reducing the change in intrusion speed and performing deformation work. The foot-supporting body is made as a pure hard-foam moulded body which--arranged on the passenger/driver side of the end wall--extends beyond the left-hand foot-placement area at least as far as the area covered by the brake pedal. The inherent rigidity of the foot-supporting body, as viewed in the loading direction, which can be permanently deformed, is below that of the allocated area of the end wall. Polystyrene--or polyurethane--foamed plastic, with a lower volumetric-weight limit of about 20 g/dm.sup.3 is preferably used as the moulded body material in certain exemplary embodiments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1988
    Assignee: Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Guenter Stuertz, Rudolf Nock, Egon Katz, Falk Zeidler, Alban Bossenmaier
  • Patent number: 4726605
    Abstract: A passenger seat belt assembly to be utilized in conjunction with a passenger seat of a vehicle such as an automobile. The passenger seat is mounted alongside of a door through the body of the vehicle. The seat belt assembly utilizes two separate belts, the outer end of both belts being fixedly mounted to the door. The opposite end of each belt is fixedly mounted onto a pistol grip latching handle. This latching handle is to be connectable either with a female latching device mounted on the door or a female latching device located across the passenger seat.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 23, 1988
    Inventor: Raymond M. Carter
  • Patent number: 4725073
    Abstract: A trailing arm suspension includes a holder pivotally supported on a vehicle body by a first pivot shaft extending substantially longitudinally of the vehicle body and supporting a second pivot shaft extending substantially transversely of the vehicle body, a trailing arm pivotally supported by the second pivot shaft on the holder and having a spindle mounted on a rear portion thereof for rotatably supporting a wheel, and a plurality of links have first ends thereof coupled to the trailing arm and extending substantially transversely of the vehicle body. The point at which the trailing arm is pivotally supported by the second pivot shaft can easily be displaced transversely through swinging movement of the holder about the axis of the first pivot shaft. A rubber bushing interposed between the trailing arm and the second pivot shaft can be harder or higher in rubber rigidity in the longitudinal and vertical directions of the vehicle body for limiting changes in wheel alignment when wheels are driven or braked.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 16, 1988
    Assignee: Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Shoichi Sano, Yutaka Tashiro
  • Patent number: 4723616
    Abstract: A tractor has a PTO shaft disposed at one side and generally centrally so that it can be connected to an input shaft of an implement extending laterally from the tractor's rear lifting device. The PTO shaft is housed to be movable laterally towards or away from the remainder of the tractor. The tractor's engine is between its front and rear wheels and its drive shaft is transverse to the tractor's longitudinal centerline. The width of the engine is less than the width from outboard side to outboard side of the tractor's front wheels. The fuel tank is offset on one side of the tractor opposite the aforesaid PTO. The front wheels of the tractor are situated within the tracks of the rear wheels so that the front and rear wheel tracks do not overlap and are about equal distances apart. All wheels are driven by individual hydraulic motors. Two further PTO shafts extend to the tractor's three-point lifting device and the other to one side thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1988
    Inventor: Cornelis van der Lely
  • Patent number: 4723792
    Abstract: A knee protector assembly in a vehicle which comprises an elongated knee protector rigidly secured at its opposite ends to opposite fixed portions of a vehicle body structure so as to extend across the width of the vehicle body structure, a support bracket rigidly mounted on a portion of a floor panel of the vehicle body structure at a position intermediate of the width of the vehicle body structure, and a generally elongated connecting member having its opposite ends rigidly connected respectively to the support bracket and a cowl body of the vehicle body structure. The connecting member is capable of being plastically deformed when loaded with a predetermined load.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 1985
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1988
    Assignee: Mazda Motor Corporation
    Inventors: Toshinori Sakamoto, Isao Hirashima
  • Patent number: 4722416
    Abstract: A control device and system for the operation of a motor vehicle by a single joystick device. The device and system includes a pair of hydraulic cylinders, one connected to and between the vehicle and the brake pedal and the other to and between the vehicle and the acceleration pedal, a position limiting spring located within each hydraulic cylinder, a pressure regulator for maintaining a constant feed pressure from the vehicle's own hydraulic pump, a control valve for each cylinder mounted between the feed source and each hydraulic cylinder which is responsive to input signals provided by the hand operable joystick, a double port hydraulic steering cylinder integrally connected to the steering system and fed by the same hydraulic source, the steering cylinder being regulated by a double port pressure control valve which is also responsive to the same hand operable joystick.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1988
    Inventor: Bruce L. Ahnafield
  • Patent number: 4722552
    Abstract: A webbing intermediate portion retaining apparatus for use in an automatic seatbelt system for a vehicle arranged such that, when an occupant enters the vehicle, an occupant restraining webbing is automatically fastened to the occupant's body, whereas, when the occupant leaves the vehicle, the webbing is automatically unfastened from his body. The apparatus enables the intermediate portion of the webbing to be retained by a hook provided on a door of the vehicle when the occupant leaves the vehicle. The apparatus effects control such that, when the occupant is going to leave the vehicle, the hook is moved to a position for retaining the intermediate portion of the webbing, whereas, after the occupant has entered the vehicle, the hook is moved to a position for canceling the retaining of the intermediate portion of the webbing. Accordingly, when the occupant enters and leaves the vehicle, it is possible to ensure a sufficient space for him to move smoothly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1988
    Assignees: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai-Rika-Denki Seisakusho, Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Toshio Gyoda, Mitsuaki Katsuno, Tatsushi Kubota, Chikao Nagasaka, Kazuyoshi Kato
  • Patent number: 4722548
    Abstract: A vehicle suspension system in which a computer controls damping and spring forces to optimize ride and handling characteristics under a wide range of driving conditions. A combined shock absorber/air spring unit is connected between the wheel and frame of a vehicle. The shock absorber includes a hydraulic sensor which provides signals to the computer which are representative of the position of the piston within the shock absorber. The computer utilizes these signals to control compression and rebound hydraulic pressure regulators to produce preprogrammed compression and rebound damping forces that will yield the desired ride and handling. The air spring may be connected in series with the shock absorber for compression and rebound along the same axis. Pressure sensors and air pressure inlet and outlet valves are connected to the computer for adjusting the pressure within the air spring to provide the desired spring rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1988
    Inventors: James M. Hamilton, Lonnie K. Woods
  • Patent number: 4722547
    Abstract: An ultra-sonic senor system suitable for monitoring movement of a vehicle, relative to the horizontal employs two or more coordinated ultra-sonic sensors. The sensors may be mounted at opposite ends or on opposite sides of the vehicle, depending on whether pitch or roll respectively is to be monitored. Each sensor broadcasts ultra-sonic waves and receives ultra-sonic waves reflected by the road surface. The transmission time is known; the reception time is measured upon detection of the peak of the reflected waves. The difference between the two above times yields the distance between the vehicle and the road. The difference between the distances measured by two sensor yields the inclination of the vehicle relative to the horizontal plane.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 2, 1988
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Company, Limited
    Inventors: Teruo Kishi, Yosuke Yamamoto
  • Patent number: 4721326
    Abstract: A suspension bushing joint, rather than clamping the inner sleeve of the bushing directly between spaced walls on a support bracket, clamps the bushing sleeve between one wall of the bracket and an expandable sleeve anchored to the other bracket wall. The expandable sleeve extends through an initially oversized circular opening in the other bracket wall and is anchored thereto by being expanded outwardly by a conical expander portion of a bolt. No forces are generated that would tend to deform the walls toward one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 1987
    Date of Patent: January 26, 1988
    Assignee: General Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Peter Massos, Philip C. Boggs, Jr.
  • Patent number: 4718692
    Abstract: A suspension for a heavy-duty vehicle includes a narrow profile skirt-type hanger with a unitized bolster beam extending laterally beneath the chassis between hangers at opposite sides of the vehicle, an axle seat assembly rigidly secured to the axle with a torque arm resiliently connected thereto at a pair of spaced-apart locations, the forward end of the torque arm being pivotally mounted to the bolster beam at the hanger assembly, and an outboard mounted air spring mounted outboard of the chassis between the axle seat assembly and an upper spring mount. A second embodiment of the suspension includes an overslung axle seat assembly rigidly secured to a trunnion rod, offset from a stub-axle supporting the wheel. A second bolster beam extends laterally between axle seat assemblies at opposite sides of the vehicle, such that both the first and second bolster beams and the trunnion rod extending laterally underneath the chassis between like suspensions on the opposite side of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 1986
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1988
    Inventor: John E. Raidel
  • Patent number: 4718509
    Abstract: Multi-axle vehicles with individual wheel drives are, for the purpose of improving ground clearance, also equipped with drive trains split in two arrayed in proximity of the wheels, in which distribution drives drive the wheels via articulated shafts. In order that these articulated shafts, despite the short distance between the distribution drive and the wheel hub, do not become so short that either the angle or excursion is very limited, or that the articulation must be stressed unfavorably, and to permit larger spring paths for the wheels, the articulations were integrated into the housings of the distribution and/or wheel hub drives to the extent that the center of the articulation comes to lie immediately at or even behind the intersection of the articulated shaft with the drive train and below the output bearing. The latter receives therto a specially large diameter and short construction length.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1988
    Assignee: Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Friedrich Ehrlinger, Manfred Goeft
  • Patent number: 4718683
    Abstract: In order to detect relative linear displacements between two members, the transducer includes a fixed part or stator connectible to one of the members and a movable part or rotor rotatably supported by the fixed part. A flexible traction member has one end anchored to the other member and its other end connected to the rotor in such a way as to cause rotation of the latter in one sense relative to the stator when the members move away from each other. The transducer also includes a return spring which tends to rotate the rotor in the opposite sense of rotation when the two members move towards each other. Electrical sensor means output electrical signals indicative of the angular position of the rotor relative to the stator and hence of the relative position of the two members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 1985
    Date of Patent: January 12, 1988
    Assignee: Marelli Autronica S.p.A.
    Inventor: Giampiero Perga