James Ziech has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Abstract: A transmission having a variator drive capable of being placed in a continuously variable operating mode or an infinitely variable operating mode, capable of having a wide ratio range, and capable of integrating a clutching capability within the transmission. The variable transmissions can be operated in at least two different operating modes, depending on an engagement status of the clutches therein. Methods of running the variable transmissions and drivelines that incorporate such variable transmissions are provided.
March 12, 2014
Date of Patent:
January 24, 2017
James Ziech, Mark R. J. Versteyhe, Kenneth E. Cooper
Abstract: A suspension is provided that eliminates welded connections between the suspension control arm and the axle. The suspension includes a control arm coupled to a vehicle frame. The control arm has a first sleeve, through which an axle is received. The first sleeve of the control arm has a radially inner surface that tapers. The suspension further includes a second sleeve configured to be received within the first sleeve, about the axle. The second sleeve has a radially outer surface that tapers complementary to the radially surface of the first sleeve. As the second sleeve is urged inward within the first sleeve, the second sleeve clamps down upon the axle.
Abstract: A vehicle differential case is disclosed, the case having an interior and an exterior configuration which provides an increased internal volume for, among other things, lubricant for components of the differential mechanism, while at the same time providing excellent structural strength. Importantly, the weight versus stiffness ratio of the differential case so described is significantly improved compared to known differential cases.
October 20, 2005
April 26, 2007
Caner Demirdogen, James Ridge, James Ziech
Abstract: A method and apparatus for locking a bearing adjuster to a combined differential carrier and bearing cap is provided. In one embodiment of the invention, a locking device extends through the bearing cap to the bearing adjuster to deform threads on the bearing adjuster to lock the bearing adjuster to the combined differential carrier and bearing cap. In another embodiment of the invention, a locking device extends through the bearing adjuster to deform on the combined differential carrier and bearing cap threads on the differential case to lock the bearing adjuster to the combined differential carrier and bearing cap.
Abstract: A tandem axle system for vehicle having an optimized inter-axle driveline is depicted and described. The system has a forward drive axle system having a forward pinion gear drivingly connected to a drive side of a forward portion of a forward ring gear. The system also has a rear drive axle system having a rear pinion gear drivingly connected to a drive side of a rear portion of a rear ring gear. An inter-axle driveline connects the forward drive axle system with the rear drive axle system.
Abstract: A tandem axle system for a vehicle has a forward drive assembly selectively connected to a rear drive assembly. The forward drive assembly provides constant drive to a forward axle. The rear drive assembly is selectively connected to the forward drive assembly via at least one clutch. Engagement or disengagement of the at least one clutch provides drive to a rear axle or allows the rear axle to idle, respectively.
Abstract: A differential assembly includes a yoke, attached to a drive shaft, for driving a pinion head. The differential assembly further includes inner and outer pinion bearing assemblies, a separable mounting plate, and a cavity defined by a housing for receiving a pinion assembly. The outer pinion bearing assembly is integrally mounted to the housing, while the inner pinion bearing assembly is secured to the separable mounting plate. The pinion head is straddle mounted between the inner and outer pinion bearing assemblies.
Abstract: An anti-creep locking mechanism for a trailer suspension system is disclosed. The disclosed locking mechanism includes at least one column that may be swung into a first position in a gap formed between a trailer frame and a suspension component to keep a trailer at a predetermined height. The column is biased into the first position by a spring. An actuator, such as a contracting air bag or an air cylinder with a linkage assembly, is used to overcome the biasing force of the spring and retract the column into a second position, thereby deactivating the anti-creep locking mechanism. The anti-creep mechanism may further include an angle limiter to insure that column is fully retracted once the system is deactivated.
Abstract: The present invention relates to an independent rear vehicle suspension that comprises a fore/aft link with first and second ends, where a bracket pivotally supports the first end of the fore/aft link from a vehicle frame member. The fore/aft link has an air bag spring located between the fore/aft link's second end and the frame member. A lateral link pivotally connects between the fore/aft link's second end and the vehicle frame. A wheel upright, with an axle aperture extending through it, is rigidly attached near to the second end of the fore/aft link and located above the fore/aft link. An upper control rod is pivotally connected to the wheel upright and pivotally mounted to the frame member.
Abstract: A cable driven drive mechanism is presented. A cable driven drive mechanism includes one or more drums rotatable about one or more parallel axes. The drive mechanism further includes one or more output drums rotatable about one or more parallel axes, the input axes extending perpendicular to the output axes. The cable driven drive mechanism still further includes a cable disposed about at least a portion of each of the input drums and the output drums, thereby coupling the input drums and output drums for rotation together.
April 1, 2005
October 19, 2006
James Ziech, Michael Zebolsky, Paul Pollock
Abstract: A method of assembling a drive axle assembly of a tandem axle assembly is provided. The method includes the step of providing a differential carrier housing having a forward opening and a rear opening. The method further includes inserting several internal components of the drive axle assembly through the rear opening of the carrier housing including input and output gears, a driven gear, a pinion shaft which is rotatably coupled to the driven gear, and a power divider subassembly having a plurality of differential gears. Insertion of these components through the rear opening facilitates the use of a one-piece differential carrier housing with small front openings and maximum structural integrity.
Abstract: A method and apparatus for adding steering capability to a rear driven or non-driven axle is described. The invention utilizes many of the existing rear axle components, such as the upper control arm, lower control arm and knuckle. A gimbal is added to connect the lower control arm with the frame. A tie rod, or a slot and cam system, connects the lower control arm with at least one actuator to selectively turn the knuckle.
Abstract: An improved semi-trailing arm rear suspension is provided for use in vehicles having low floors. The suspension positions the outboard pivot attachment further outboard than the longitudinal centerline of the wheel to improve reaction during vehicle braking. The suspension may also place the pivot axis below the rotational axis of the wheel in order to maximize available cargo space and at a slight angle to the rotation axis of the wheel to improve vehicle handling.
Abstract: The present invention is an axle system having a steering capability. A series of links connect a knuckle with a vehicle chassis. The axis of the upper links converge to an upper point outboard of the knuckle. The axis of the lower links converge to a lower point outboard of the knuckle. A virtual steer axis of rotation for the knuckle is provided by a line connecting the upper point and the lower point. A steer link having one end connected to a steering mechanism and the other end connected to the knuckle is also provided.
Abstract: A steer axle and suspension assembly are provided that produce lateral stability in the vehicle without the use of a transverse rod and without generating undue loads on the steer axle beam. The assembly includes at least one suspension arm that is connected to the frame and to a component of the steer axle assembly such as the axle beam, kingpin, or steering knuckle. The suspension arm is connected to the steer axle assembly at a location outboard of the longitudinal frame rails of the vehicle and extends longitudinally at an angle to the frame rails. The suspension arm arrangement can be used with a variety of suspensions including leaf spring and multi-link suspensions.
Abstract: An interaxle differential is provided which includes a side gear, a clutch gear torsionally locked on a first input shaft and axially slidably mounted thereon and an annular piston mounted in a differential casing for urging the clutch gear into engagement with a side gear and a spring to urge the clutch gear to an unlocked position.
Abstract: A suspension for coupling a steer axle assembly to a vehicle frame is provided that moves one or more of the spring reaction points outboard to increase roll stiffness and enable the use of a lighter axle. In one embodiment of the invention, the suspension includes a spring coupled to the vehicle frame and a shock absorber having a first end coupled to the spring and a second end coupled to a component of the steer axle assembly, such as the kingpin, at a location outboard of a longitudinal frame rail of the vehicle frame.
Abstract: A suspension and steering subassembly for a heavy truck is provided including a subframe. The subframe includes first and second side members extending substantially in the direction of vehicle travel and first and second cross members extending substantially perpendicular to the direction of vehicle travel. The first and second cross members are integral with the first and second side members such that the subframe is a unitary member. The first and second side members and the first and second cross members are further configured to receive first and second lower suspension control arms, first and second upper suspension control arms, and a portion of the steering linkage for the vehicle. The subframe may further be configured to receive a steering gear and one or more strut rods to provide fore/aft support to the subframe.
Abstract: A suspension is provided that comprises a tandem axle walking beam with a vertically compliant center pivot bushing and a spring medium located over each axle center. The walking beam is rigidly attached to the axles and is pivotally coupled to a frame of the vehicle at a location intermediate of the first and second axles.
Abstract: A drive system comprises a one-piece differential carrier housing an input assembly, a power divider, a hollow pinion gear and a wheel differential. A through shaft is concentric with, but rotates independently of, the hollow pinion gear. The input assembly, the power divider and the pinion gear are rotatingly supported within the one-piece differential carrier by a maximum of three bearings. The bearing cage and the pinion gear are assembled through the rear of the one-piece differential carrier.