Patents by Inventor Ralph W. Baxter

Ralph W. Baxter 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).

  • Patent number: 7458911
    Abstract: A drive system designed to use a vehicle's existing hydraulic system to operate a controllable limited slip differential assembly. The limited slip differential assembly may be associated with the front axle, the rear axle, or the driveline between the front and rear axles. The differential assembly may also be used in combination that includes front, rear, or intermediate differential assemblies. The drive system further includes a friction clutch assembly for selectively engaging and disengaging an input member with an output member of the differential assembly, a fluid clutch actuator for selectively frictionally and variably loading the clutch assembly, and a fluid pump that is a common source of pressurized fluid for the fluid clutch actuator and the existing hydraulic system of the motor vehicle other than the fluid clutch actuator of the drive system. The fluid clutch actuator is actuated by fluid pressure generated by the fluid pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: Dana Automotive Systems Group, LLC
    Inventors: James A. Krisher, Kenneth E. Cooper, Thomas L. Nahrwold, Gordon W. Hunt, Ralph W. Baxter, Jr., Randy Sommer
  • Patent number: 7438542
    Abstract: A fluid pump assembly comprises a pump housing and a fluid pump disposed within the pump housing. The fluid pump has axially opposite first and second side faces and includes cooperating impeller and rotor members. The fluid pump assembly further comprises inlet and outlet ports disposed adjacent to the first side face, a pressure chamber formed within the pump housing adjacent to the second side face, and an end plate disposed within the pressure chamber and movable relative to the pump between a first position and a second position. The end plate has axially opposite inner and outer end surfaces oriented so that the inner end surface faces the fluid pump, while the outer end surface faces away from the pump. An area of the outer end surface of the end plate is greater than the area of the inner end surface thereof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Assignee: Dana Automotive Systems Group, LLC.
    Inventors: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr., Randy Sommer, Stephen Garlick
  • Patent number: 6951522
    Abstract: An active differential assembly provides speed control of an associated output shaft. A differential case is rotatably mounted within a housing to drive a pair of output shafts extending from the differential case in opposite directions for distributing driving force from the engine to wheels. A pair of planetary gear sets are one each disposed about a corresponding output shaft and includes a planetary ring gear, a sun gear fixed to the output shaft, and a planetary carrier rotatably supporting a plurality of planet gears operatively coupling the planetary ring gear with the sun gear. A brake mechanism is disposed between the planetary ring gear and the housing for selectively braking the planetary ring gear to thereby cause an associated increase in speed of the axle shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2005
    Assignee: Torque-Traction Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr., Randy L. Sommer, William G. Hunt
  • Patent number: 6865970
    Abstract: An improved engine oil pan and transfer case assembly is provided wherein an oil reservoir and a first transfer case housing portion are unitarily combined. The first transfer case housing portion is adapted to combine together with a second transfer case housing portion to form a complete transfer case housing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2005
    Assignee: Torque Traction Technologies, INC
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20040147356
    Abstract: An active differential assembly provides speed control of an associated output shaft. A differential case is rotatably mounted within a housing to drive a pair of output shafts extending from the differential case in opposite directions for distributing driving force from the engine to wheels. A pair of planetary gear sets are one each disposed about a corresponding output shaft and includes a planetary ring gear, a sun gear fixed to the output shaft, and a planetary carrier rotatably supporting a plurality of planet gears operatively coupling the planetary ring gear with the sun gear. A brake mechanism is disposed between the planetary ring gear and the housing for selectively braking the planetary ring gear to thereby cause an associated increase in speed of the axle shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 23, 2003
    Publication date: July 29, 2004
    Inventors: Ralph W. Baxter, Randy L. Sommer, William G. Hunt
  • Patent number: 6626053
    Abstract: A motor vehicle torque transfer case pump drive which is mounted in the front of a torque transfer case where it mounts to a motor vehicle transmission and includes a drive arrangement, such as a chain drive, a belt drive or a gear drive. This permits an auxiliary hydraulic pump to be driven directly from the torque transfer case, thus eliminating the need for a power take-off (PTO) adapter to drive the auxiliary hydraulic pump.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2003
    Assignee: Opker Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr., Wesley M. Dick
  • Patent number: 6582331
    Abstract: A lubrication arrangement for an endless chain in a transfer case of four-wheel drive vehicles comprising a casing, an input shaft, a first output shaft drivingly connected thereto, a second output shaft spaced from the input shaft, and the endless chain selectively transmitting torque from the first output shaft to the second output shaft. The casing includes a lubricant reservoir and a torque transfer compartment housing the endless chain. The input shaft is rotatably mounted within the casing and extends into the lubricant reservoir. An oil pump is arranged within the lubricant reservoir for supplying the lubricant under pressure to the endless chain. The excess amount of the lubricant is returned back to the lubricant reservoir through a lubricant return port formed in the casing. The lubrication arrangement allows retaining only a minimum necessary amount of lubricant in the chain compartment, thus preventing the oil churning and aeration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2003
    Assignee: Torque-Traction Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6578657
    Abstract: A driveline system for a motor vehicle includes at least two propeller shafts and a driveline angle reducer disposed therebetween for drivingly interconnecting the propeller shafts at a fixed operating angle. The driveline angle reducer includes a housing rotatably supporting therewithin a fixed-angle constant-velocity joint. The housing of the driveline angle reducer is mounted to a vehicle body and contains a supply of a lubricant for lubrication of the constant-velocity joint. The driveline angle reducer allows propeller shaft operating angles to be in a range where conventional Cardan joints can be used in the driveline systems without causing excessive cyclic vibrations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2001
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2003
    Assignee: Torque-Traction Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Publication number: 20020189887
    Abstract: A driveline system for a motor vehicle includes at least two propeller shafts and a driveline angle reducer disposed therebetween for drivingly interconnecting the propeller shafts at a fixed operating angle. The driveline angle reducer includes a housing rotatably supporting therewithin a fixed-angle constant-velocity joint. The housing of the driveline angle reducer is mounted to a vehicle body and contains a supply of a lubricant for lubrication of the constant-velocity joint. The driveline angle reducer allows propeller shaft operating angles to be in a range where conventional Cardan joints can be used in the driveline systems without causing excessive cyclic vibrations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2001
    Publication date: December 19, 2002
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter
  • Publication number: 20020011369
    Abstract: A motor vehicle torque transfer case pump drive which is mounted in the front of a torque transfer case where it mounts to a motor vehicle transmission and includes a drive arrangement, such as a chain drive, a belt drive or a gear drive. This permits an auxiliary hydraulic pump to be driven directly from the torque transfer case, thus eliminating the need for a power take-off (PTO) adapter to drive the auxiliary hydraulic pump.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 19, 2001
    Publication date: January 31, 2002
    Applicant: Dana Corporation
    Inventors: Ralph W. Baxter, Wesley M. Dick
  • Patent number: 5996758
    Abstract: An electromagnetically controlled bi-directional one-way clutch apparatus which permits relative overrun or differentiation between a front torque transmitting shaft and a rear torque transmitting shaft up to a predetermined level and, if the amount of relative overrun or differentiation between the front torque transmitting shaft and the rear torque transmitting shaft exceeds this predetermined level, locks the front torque transmitting shaft and the rear torque transmitting shaft together such that the front torque transmitting shaft and the rear torque transmitting shaft rotate at substantially the same rotational speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1999
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5954612
    Abstract: A multi-speed offset transfer case for a four (4) wheel drive motor vehicle having a plural stage torque transfer and speed changing mechanism which provides four (4) or more output speeds for each input speed. A modified planetary gear assembly forms the first stage and provides selectively either speed reduction or an output speed which is equal to the input speed. This planetary gear assembly receives torque from an input shaft and includes a sun gear in driven engagement with the input shaft, a planetary gear carrier which supports a plurality of planet gears and a ring gear. The planetary gear carrier includes an output sleeve, which is preferably an integral part of the planetary gear carrier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1999
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5709135
    Abstract: A clam-shell shaped differential housing including a lower portion for receiving the input shaft and the differential gearing, and an upper portion for enclosing the same within the differential housing. The clam-shell shaped differential housing allows for easy insertion and adjustment of the differential components. In addition, a lubricant reservoir may be formed in the area of the input shaft and pinion bearings to retain the majority of differential lubricant. The clam-shell shaped housing allows a pump to be easily positioned in the reservoir between the inner and outer pinion bearings to pump the lubricant from the reservoir to the differential components through channels formed in the housing. In this manner, the sump of the differential housing remains substantially dry. The pump may also be used to provide hydraulic pressure to a limited slip clutch assembly for the actuation thereof in conjunction with a valve control assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 1996
    Date of Patent: January 20, 1998
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter
  • Patent number: 5702319
    Abstract: A hydromechanical system for limiting differentiation between a first rotating member and a second rotating member in a drivetrain subassembly. The hydromechanical system comprises a clutch assembly for selectively coupling the first rotating member to rotate with the second rotating member and a hydraulically actuated piston assembly for applying force on the clutch assembly to actuate the clutch assembly in response to hydraulic pressure such that the first rotatable member is selectively coupled to rotate with the second rotatable member. A clutch actuating pump, including a reservoir, is provided for supplying hydraulic pressure to the piston assembly to actuate the piston assembly, wherein the clutch actuating pump communicates hydraulic fluid under pressure to the piston assembly in response to differential rotation between the first and second rotating members.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 30, 1997
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5613587
    Abstract: A friction plate synchronizer/brake apparatus for use in a drivetrain subassembly such as a four-wheel drive transfer case. The apparatus provides a relatively small and lightweight apparatus that may be used to facilitate transfer case range shift operations by smoothly eliminating residual rotation of the transfer case input shaft caused by torque converter drag. Elimination of the torque converter drag allows the transfer case output drive shaft to be coupled to the transfer case input shaft or to the associated planetary gear assembly without excessive noise, vibration, or wear on the transfer case components. The apparatus also provides a relatively small and lightweight apparatus to be used in a four-wheel drive transfer case to facilitate smooth "on the fly" shifting between two-wheel and four-wheel drive modes of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: March 25, 1997
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5522777
    Abstract: The invention is directed to a four-wheel drive system for a vehicle having front and rear drive wheels driven by an engine and transmission assembly, and including a transfer case having a torque input shaft for receiving output torque from the vehicle engine and transmission assembly. A transfer gear assembly of the transfer case provides low and high speed power paths, and a shift mechanism is provided to shift between the low and high speed power paths. The system further includes an engine control module for controlling the engine fuel system and shifting of the transmission assembly between a plurality of vehicle gear ratios. A transfer case control module controls the shift mechanism for shifting between the low and high speed power paths.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 1994
    Date of Patent: June 4, 1996
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventors: Ralph W. Baxter, Randy L. Sommer
  • Patent number: 5443429
    Abstract: The invention provides an automatic powershifting vehicle transfer case comprising a housing supporting a rotatably driven input shaft, a first output shaft rotatably coupled to one of the front or rear axles of a vehicle, and a second output shaft rotatably coupled to the other of the front or rear axles. A first planetary gear set has a first high speed range operating position, where torque from the input shaft is transferred to one or both of the front or rear axles of the vehicle with no speed reduction from planetary operation. The first planetary gear set includes a sun gear connected to rotate with the input shaft, a ring gear, and pinion gears supported in a carrier, with the planetary gear set being drivingly coupled to at least one of the output shafts. A first clutch associated with the first planetary gear set provides a predetermined output drive ratio to one or both of the output shafts.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 22, 1995
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5334116
    Abstract: A transfer case for a vehicle having a pair of front wheels and a pair of rear wheels and capable of all-wheel or two wheel drive has an input shaft connected to a carrier of a planetary gear differential having a ring gear connected to a first output shaft for driving a first pair of wheels and a sun gear connected to a second output shaft for driving a second pair of wheels. A clutch is provided on the planetary gear differential for selectively locking the first and second output shafts together for concurrent rotation when the planetary gear differential clutch is engaged, thereby providing all-wheel drive. A brake is provided for selectively preventing the second output shaft from rotating so that when the second output shaft brake is applied and the planetary gear differential clutch is disengaged, the first output shaft will rotate at an overdrive gear ratio relative to the rotational speed of the input shaft, thereby providing two-wheel drive at an overdrive gear ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 2, 1994
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5320586
    Abstract: A locking limited slip planetary differential for the transfer case of an all-wheel drive vehicle. First and second coaxially juxtaposed sun gears are mounted to first and second output shafts, respectively, for rotation therewith. A plurality of first planet gears are rotatably mounted on a carrier, each of which meshes with the first sun gear. A plurality of second planet gears is also rotatably mounted on the carrier. Each of the second planet gears meshes with the second sun gear and with an associated one of the first planet gears. A hydraulically actuated clutch pack is provided for selectively connecting the carrier to the first sun gear to limit relative rotation between the first output shaft and the second output shaft. The clutch pack is actuated by a swash plate pump mechanism provided on the first and second sun gears which supplies hydraulic fluid to the clutch pack when the first and second sun gears rotate relative to one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1994
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventor: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr.
  • Patent number: 5226860
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a vehicle four wheel drive torque transfer case having a friction clutch which is selectively engaged when it is desired to place the transfer case in a four wheel drive operating mode. The transfer case includes an input shaft which is connected to supply torque to a rear output shaft. A multi-disc friction clutch is connected between the input shaft and a front output shaft for supplying torque to the front output shaft. A planetary gear assembly includes a sun gear, a carrier a planet carrier connected to the input shaft, and a ring gear coupled to drive the front output shaft. The multi-disc clutch is interposed between the sun gear and the ring gear and is engaged to inhibit any rotation of the planet carrier relative to the ring gear and thereby transfer torque to the front output shaft. The planetary gear assembly functions as a .sctn.'torque multipler" and this reduces the torque capacity requirements for the clutch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 13, 1993
    Assignee: Dana Corporation
    Inventors: Ralph W. Baxter, Jr., Robert Leeper, David C. Reuter