And Means For Locking Out The Differential Means Patents (Class 180/249)
  • Patent number: 8443954
    Abstract: The invention relates to a clutch having two clutch parts which can be brought into engagement in form fitted manner for the torque transfer; and a shift member which is movable in a first direction to bring the clutch parts out of engagement and is movable in a second direction to bring the clutch parts into engagement. A motor is provided for the movement of the shift member in the first direction and a spring element is provided for the movement of the shift member in the second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: Magna Powertrain AG & Co KG
    Inventors: Johannes Quehenberger, Simon Kaimer, Klaus Eder, Todd Ekonen
  • Patent number: 8396628
    Abstract: A power on-demand steering angle sensor coupled to a steering wheel and a controller comprising a switch, coupled to the sensor and the controller. The switch is activated upon motion of the steering wheel or steering shaft. The switch, when closed, connects a power supply, such as a vehicle battery, to the sensor and the controller so that a new steering angle may be sensed and stored. After a predetermined period of time, the controller sends a signal to open the switch and disconnect the power supply.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 1, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies
    Inventors: Erick Lavoie, Brad Hochrein
  • Patent number: 8364360
    Abstract: A motor vehicle with insertable four-wheel drive, including an engine having a crankshaft, a pair of main driving wheels constantly connected to the crankshaft by interposition of a gearbox provided with a first clutch, and a pair of secondary driving wheels, which may be connected to the crankshaft by an insertable transmission system. The insertable transmission system presents a second clutch, which is connected on one end with a fixed transmission ratio to the crankshaft upstream of the gearbox and on the other end with a fixed transmission ratio to the secondary driving wheels. A percentage of motive torque to be transmitted to the secondary driving wheels by the second clutch is determined according to dynamic parameters of the motor vehicle detected by respective sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2013
    Assignee: Ferrari S.p.A.
    Inventors: Franco Cimatti, Rudolf Morawetz
  • Patent number: 8326480
    Abstract: Method for monitoring the state of a tire, in which at least one analysis value (UR i), from which the state of a tire is determined, is formed from wheel speed signals (?rot i) of the vehicle wheels, wherein the analysis value (UR i) is an absolute rolling circumference of a tire or a variable which represents the absolute rolling circumference of a tire, in particular a dynamic tire radius which is determined by evaluating wheel speed signals (?rot i) and signals from at least one sensor in order to measure the speed of the vehicle over an underlying surface, and the analysis value (UR i) is used to determine a loss of pressure and/or working loads of the tire, as well as a device for monitoring the state of the tire.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2012
    Assignee: Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG
    Inventors: Andreas Köbe, Frank Schreiner, Daniel Fischer
  • Patent number: 8316981
    Abstract: A vehicle drive arrangement is controlled with an actuator arrangement. According to an example embodiment, an actuator arrangement includes a rotatable gear having pins thereon that are applied to a latch and rocker arm to selectively engage and lock a vehicle drive system. In some applications, gear is rotated to apply a first pin to move the latch for selective engagement of the vehicle drive system, and to apply the second pin for selective locking of the engagement, during which selective locking the rotation of the first pin does not cause movement of the latch. Other embodiments are directed to vehicle drive systems and vehicles, such as all-terrain vehicles, employing drive systems and an actuator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: American Gear Products, LLC
    Inventors: Richard Nyberg, James R. Preston
  • Patent number: 8313407
    Abstract: A vehicle drive train for transferring torque to first and second sets of wheels includes a first driveline adapted to transfer torque to the first set of wheels and a first power disconnection device. A second driveline is adapted to transfer torque to the second set of wheels and includes a second power disconnection device. A hypoid gearset is positioned within one of the first driveline and the second driveline in a power path between the first and second power disconnection devices. The hypoid gearset is selectively disconnected from being driven by either of the first driveline and the second driveline when the first and second power disconnection devices are operated in a disconnected, non-torque transferring, mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: MAGNA Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Todd Ekonen, Bradley Larkin
  • Patent number: 8312956
    Abstract: A work vehicle is provided having a front wheel assembly and a rear wheel assembly. The front wheel assembly may include a front axle assembly, and the rear wheel assembly may include a rear axle assembly. The vehicle may include a braking system configured to transfer front axle braking torque to the rear axle assembly when the vehicle is positioned on a slope.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: David Frederick Rindfleisch
  • Patent number: 8315750
    Abstract: The invention relates to a method for improving the propulsion efficiency of vessels. The improvement is obtained by utilizing wave induced variations in propeller inflow, i.e. the speed of water flowing towards the propeller. The wave induced water speed variation is used to calculate the propeller speed in a way so that the propeller speed is optimal with respect to the total propulsion efficiency. The optimal propeller speed is determined by solving an optimization problem formulated as the maximization of the ratio of energy delivered by the propeller and the energy delivered to the propeller. The method may be used for vessels with one or more propellers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Propeller Control ApS
    Inventors: Mogens Blanke, Luca Pivano
  • Patent number: 8281890
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a drive system for vehicles with at least two drivable vehicle axles (V, H), in particular for utility vehicles and farm tractors. The drive system has an infinitely variable transmission with no intermediate axle differential comprising at least a first (11) and a second (12) motor. The first motor (11) in this case is propulsively connected to a first vehicle axle (H) and the second motor (12) is propulsively connected to a second vehicle axle (V). Furthermore the drive system has a clutch (20), by which a propulsive connection can be made between at least the first (H) and the second (V) vehicle axle, wherein the position of the clutch is adjustable (20) in a range between an engaged position and a disengaged position, and a control unit (30), which actuates the clutch (20) in such a manner that its torque transmission capacity is adjusted as a function of a driving state of the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: AGCO GmbH
    Inventor: Richard Heindl
  • Patent number: 8152672
    Abstract: A differential assembly includes an axle, a differential, a differential lock, a blocking member, and a pump. The differential is coupled with the axle and configured to facilitate operation of the axle at an axle speed. The differential lock is associated with the differential and movable between a locked position and an unlocked position. The blocking member is associated with the differential lock and is movable between a blocking position and a non-blocking position. When the blocking member is in the blocking position, the differential lock is inhibited from moving to the locked position. The pump includes an outlet in fluid communication with the blocking member. The pump is operably coupled with the axle and is configured to facilitate movement of the blocking member into the blocking position when the axle speed is above a threshold speed. Vehicles including a differential assembly are also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 24, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Honda Motor Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Darin D. King, Daniel T. Sellars, Ryan J. Holoweiko, Jason W. Grundey
  • Patent number: 8057347
    Abstract: A power transmitting apparatus can be configured to switch between 2-wheel drive mode and 4-wheel drive mode and to lock and unlock a differential device. The power transmitting apparatus can comprise an input shaft connected to a driving power source i.e.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2011
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha F.C.C.
    Inventors: Ryouhei Chiba, Naoyuki Miwa
  • Patent number: 8050829
    Abstract: An electronic locking mechanism for a vehicle differential assembly includes a lock element movable in response to an actuation signal between an open position and a locked position. The lock element generally forces side gears of the differential assembly to turn generally at a same rate when the lock element is in the locked position. The electronic locking mechanism further includes a processor configured to determine a status of the differential assembly from a current profile that includes the actuation signal and an induced current. The determined differential assembly status is generally one of an “activated and locked” status, an “activated but unlocked” status, a “deactivated but locked” status, and a “deactivated and unlocked” status.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 14, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2011
    Assignee: GKN Driveline North America, Inc.
    Inventors: Rory Matthew Johnson, Christopher C. Murray
  • Patent number: 8014926
    Abstract: A vehicle control device for executing the following control are provided. When a driving mode is input, a CPU of an ECU outputs an instruction for shifting a power transfer mechanism in accordance with the input driving mode, and controls a power control mechanism in accordance with a stored driving mode. When it is determined that shifting of the power transfer mechanism has been completed, the CPU switches the characteristic of the power control mechanism in accordance with the input driving mode. On the other hand, when it is determined that a predetermined period of time has elapsed without completing the shifting from when the instruction for shifting the power transfer mechanism is issued, the CPU maintains the characteristic of the power control mechanism at a characteristic corresponding to the stored driving mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroyuki Sawada
  • Patent number: 7951038
    Abstract: A power transmitting apparatus for performing switching between 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive modes and locking and unlocking of a differential by an operational shaft can comprise a reversible motor, a driving shaft rotationally driven by the motor and adapted to be engaged by the operational shaft for transmitting a rotational force therebetween, a sub case for containing the motor and the driving shaft therein and mounted on the main case, an opening formed in the sub case and having a size permitting the operational shaft to be inserted and an end face of the driving shaft for engaging an end face of the operational shaft to be exposed, and a first sealing arranged on the inner circumferential surface of the opening at a position away from the driving shaft for sealing off the inside of the sub case with forming a seal between the inner circumferential surface of the opening and the outer circumferential surface of the operational shaft when the operational shaft is engaged with the driving shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2011
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha F.C.C.
    Inventors: Hideaki Ina, Naoyuki Miwa, Takayuki Suzuki
  • Patent number: 7922615
    Abstract: A transfer case is provided with a range unit, an interaxle differential, a clutch assembly and a power-operated actuation mechanism. The range unit includes a planetary gearset driven by an input shaft, and a synchronized dog clutch assembly for releasably coupling one of the input shaft or an output component of the planetary gearset to an input member of the interaxle differential. The interaxle differential further includes a first output member driving a first output shaft, a second output member operably driving a second output shaft. The clutch assembly is a multi-plate friction clutch operably disposed between the first and second output shafts. The power-operated actuation mechanism includes a range actuator assembly, a clutch actuator assembly and a motor assembly operable to control coordinated actuation of the range actuator assembly and the clutch actuator assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: MAGNA Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Mizon, James S. Brissenden
  • Patent number: 7905312
    Abstract: A driving force transmission device for four-wheel-drive vehicle based on the two-wheel drive of front wheels is provided. In the case of the two-wheel drive of front wheels, a multi-disc clutch mechanism for controlling the driving force distribution to a rear wheel output shaft, and a disconnection/connection mechanism for disconnecting and connecting a rear wheel differential and a right rear wheel drive shaft are provided, and in the two-wheel drive of front wheels, the dragging torque of the multi-disc clutch mechanism is made smaller than the friction torque of a rear wheel driving force transmission section, and the front wheel differential and the right rear wheel drive shaft are disconnected by the disconnection/connection mechanism, thereby the rotation of the rear wheel driving force transmission section is stopped.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2011
    Assignee: Univance Corporation
    Inventors: Tadahiko Kato, Satoru Suzuki
  • Patent number: 7878933
    Abstract: A power transfer assembly for use in a motor vehicle and having a hydraulic coupling operable to transfer drive torque to a driveline in response to slip. The hydraulic coupling includes a transfer clutch, a clutch operator for engaging the transfer clutch, a fluid actuation system including a fluid pump for controlling movement of the clutch operator, and a magnetorheological pump clutch capable of selectively shifting the fluid pump between operative and inoperative states.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: MAGNA Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Fred C. Porter, Todd Ekonen, Thomas C. Bowen
  • Publication number: 20110017540
    Abstract: A differential assembly includes an axle, a differential, a differential lock, a blocking member, and a pump. The differential is coupled with the axle and configured to facilitate operation of the axle at an axle speed. The differential lock is associated with the differential and movable between a locked position and an unlocked position. The blocking member is associated with the differential lock and is movable between a blocking position and a non-blocking position. When the blocking member is in the blocking position, the differential lock is inhibited from moving to the locked position. The pump includes an outlet in fluid communication with the blocking member. The pump is operably coupled with the axle and is configured to facilitate movement of the blocking member into the blocking position when the axle speed is above a threshold speed. Vehicles including a differential assembly are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 24, 2009
    Publication date: January 27, 2011
    Inventors: Darin D. King, Daniel T. Sellars, Ryan J. Holoweiko, Jason W. Grundey
  • Patent number: 7806220
    Abstract: A drive axle assembly includes first and second axleshafts and a drive mechanism coupling a driven input shaft to the axleshafts. The drive mechanism includes a differential assembly, a planetary gear assembly operably disposed between the differential assembly and the first axleshaft, a brake and first and second mode clutches. The first clutch is operable with the brake and the planetary gear assembly to increase the rotary speed of the first axleshaft which, in turn, causes a corresponding decrease in the rotary speed of the second axleshaft. The second clutch is operable with the brakes and the planetary gear assembly to decrease the rotary speed of the first axleshaft so as to cause an increase in the rotary speed of the second axleshaft. A control system controls actuation of both mode clutches.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Assignee: Magna Powertrain, Inc.
    Inventors: Anupam Sharma, Timothy M. Burns
  • Patent number: 7801657
    Abstract: A control system for a vehicle having first and second wheels is provided that includes a differential apparatus adapted to distribute torque between the first and second wheels and a traction controller for controlling operation of the differential apparatus from vehicle launch up to a predetermined vehicle speed. The traction controller is configured to engage the differential apparatus in a first operating state according to at least one vehicle operating parameter indicative of a low traction operating condition and to further control engagement of the differential apparatus in a second vehicle operating state during the low traction operating condition according to a difference between an actual vehicle yaw rate and a predetermined target vehicle yaw rate. The control system also includes a stability controller for controlling engagement of the differential apparatus at or above the predetermined vehicle speed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 21, 2010
    Assignee: Eaton Corporation
    Inventors: Damrongrit Piyabongkarn, Jae Y. Lew, John A. Grogg, Robert J. Kyle
  • Patent number: 7793750
    Abstract: Restraining torque TF of an electronic controlled front limited slip differential (5) arranged between right and left front wheels is controlled in accordance with controlling right-left wheel rotational speed difference ?NF, which is the rotational speed difference between the right and left front wheels, while restraining torque TC of an electronic controlled coupling (8) arranged between the front and rear wheels is controlled in accordance with controlling front-rear wheel rotational speed difference ?NC obtained by subtracting ½ of the rotational speed difference between the right and left wheels (|?NF|/2) from the rotational speed difference (?NCT??NCD) between the front and rear wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Jidosha Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yuichi Ushiroda, Kaoru Sawase, Yusuke Fujii
  • Patent number: 7756619
    Abstract: An active vibration insulator includes an electromagnetic actuator, a controller, and a bad-roads processor. The electromagnetic actuator generates vibrating forces depending on electric-current supplies. The controller carries out vibrating-forces generation control. In the vibrating-forces generation control, the electric-current supplies are made variable so as to actively inhibit vibrations generated by an on-vehicle vibration generating source of a vehicle from transmitting to a specific part of the vehicle based on cyclic pulsating signals output from the on-vehicle vibration generating source. Thus, the controller lets the electromagnetic actuator generate the vibrating forces. The bad-roads processor stops the vibrating-forces generation control effected by the controller when the vehicle travels on bad roads.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2010
    Assignee: Tokai Rubber Industries, Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Ichikawa, Takayoshi Yasuda, Hideki Oshima, Takehiko Fushimi, Daichi Mizushima, Kenichi Sato
  • Patent number: 7721834
    Abstract: A method for controlling operation of a transfer case in a motor vehicle driveline that includes by an engine controlled by a throttle having a variable position, and a transmission driveably connected to the engine for producing multiple ratios of the speed of a transmission input relative to the speed of a transmission output. The transfer case transmitting rotating power in response to an electric signal applied to a clutch. The method includes determining that the engine throttle position is less than a first reference throttle position during a period of predetermined length; determining that a speed of the vehicle speed is in a predetermined range; determining that the transmission is operating in a speed ratio greater than a reference speed ratio; determining that the engine throttle position is greater than a first reference throttle position; and increasing the torque capacity of the clutch for a predetermined period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2010
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: Ramy Boctor, Ashok Rodrigues, Alan Dona, Matt Todd
  • Patent number: 7686149
    Abstract: A torque transfer mechanism is provided for controlling the magnitude of a clutch engagement force exerted on a multi-plate clutch assembly that is operably disposed between a first rotary and a second rotary member. The torque transfer mechanism includes a power-operated face gear clutch actuator for generating and applying a clutch engagement force on the clutch assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 30, 2010
    Assignee: Magna Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Helmuth Sachsenmaier, Todd Ekonen
  • Patent number: 7677349
    Abstract: The invention relates to a drive unit for motor vehicles, comprising an internal combustion engine, a transmission which is mounted downstream therefrom and is provided with an integrated differential, and a separating clutch that is disposed between the internal combustion engine and the transmission. The differential is driven via a bevel wheel and a bevel-gear drive comprising a drive pinion on an output shaft of the transmission. In order to create a drive unit that is advantageous regarding structure and efficiency, the bevel wheel (48) of the differential (16) is placed laterally from the separating clutch (26) from a vertical perspective and partly protrudes (A) therefrom in an axial direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 16, 2010
    Assignee: Audi AG
    Inventor: Johann Markl
  • Publication number: 20100038165
    Abstract: A vehicle drive arrangement is controlled with an actuator arrangement. According to an example embodiment, an actuator arrangement includes a rotatable gear having pins thereon that are applied to a latch and rocker arm to selectively engage and lock a vehicle drive system. In some applications, gear is rotated to apply a first pin to move the latch for selective engagement of the vehicle drive system, and to apply the second pin for selective locking of the engagement, during which selective locking the rotation of the first pin does not cause movement of the latch. Other embodiments are directed to vehicle drive systems and vehicles, such as all-terrain vehicles, employing drive systems and an actuator.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2008
    Publication date: February 18, 2010
    Inventors: Richard Nyberg, James R. Preston
  • Patent number: 7650956
    Abstract: A vehicle drive control for a wheeled vehicle including a first motor generator, and a second motor generator. A planetary gear set includes a first rotating element connected to the first motor generator, a second rotating element connected to the second motor generator, and a third rotating element connected to a drive wheel. A rotation control mechanism selectively restricts rotation of one of the first and second rotating elements of the planetary gear set to establish a fixed speed ratio mode, and releases the one of the first and second rotating elements to establish a variable speed ratio mode. A control unit is configured to control each operating state of the rotation control mechanism, the first motor generator, and the second motor generator, and configured to establish the variable speed ratio mode when a slip state of the drive wheel is detected in the fixed speed ratio mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2010
    Assignee: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Hirata, Tsuyoshi Yamanaka
  • Patent number: 7613559
    Abstract: A method for automatically actuating longitudinal blocks in four-wheel vehicles, particularly in working machines and service vehicles. The longitudinal blocks are always open when driving situations occur in which the blocking effect is absolutely unnecessary. The longitudinal blocks are closed in all other situations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Hugo Burkhart, Bernd Aumann
  • Patent number: 7600599
    Abstract: This invention relates to multiple driven axle vehicles, and particularly to all-terrain vehicles equipped for rear wheel drive, four wheel drive, and on-demand front wheel drive. The invention is directed toward a system of switchable traction options allowing the vehicle operator to easily choose between different modes, such as rear wheel drive with an open or unlocked differential, rear wheel drive with a locked differential, four wheel drive with open differentials, four wheel drive with one locked differential, four wheel drive with two locked differentials, or rear wheel drive with on-demand four wheel drive.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 10, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 13, 2009
    Assignee: Polaris Industries Inc.
    Inventors: Nathan Dahl, Jeff Lovold, Tim Wysocki, Scott Ostroski, Dan Dewolfe, Sean Sherrod
  • Patent number: 7593799
    Abstract: A torque transfer device in a motor vehicle, used for variable transfer of torque from a first shaft associated with a first wheel pair to a second shaft associated with a second wheel pair. A coupling unit facilitates variable torque-transferring coupling of the first and second shaft. The coupling unit has a first coupling element rotationally connected to the first shaft and a second coupling element connected to the second shaft. The elements cooperate with each other or are capable of cooperating with each other in order to transfer torque. A controllable adjusting device adjusts a strength of the interaction between the coupling elements by adjusting a relative position and/or a mechanical contact pressure. A control device controls the adjustment. The control device includes a data processing unit for calculating a first control signal on the basis of a plurality of input signals according to predefined rules and for controlling the adjusting device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2009
    Assignee: Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Volker Pichmann
  • Publication number: 20090229905
    Abstract: A driving force transmission device for four-wheel-drive vehicle based on the two-wheel drive of front wheels is provided. In the case of the two-wheel drive of front wheels, a multi-disc clutch mechanism for controlling the driving force distribution to a rear wheel output shaft, and a disconnection/connection mechanism for disconnecting and connecting a rear wheel differential and a right rear wheel drive shaft are provided, and in the two-wheel drive of front wheels, the dragging torque of the multi-disc clutch mechanism is made smaller than the friction torque of a rear wheel driving force transmission section, and the front wheel differential and the right rear wheel drive shaft are disconnected by the disconnection/connection mechanism, thereby the rotation of the rear wheel driving force transmission section is stopped.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 10, 2009
    Publication date: September 17, 2009
    Inventors: Tadahiko Kato, Satoru Suzuki
  • Patent number: 7588112
    Abstract: A bi-directional clutch to be equipped on a vehicle, which is selectively automatically clutched off for putting the vehicle into a two-wheel drive mode or clutched on for putting the vehicle into a four-wheel drive mode, in correspondence to a condition of the vehicle during either forward traveling or backward traveling. The invention also relates to a vehicle equipped with the bi-directional clutch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 15, 2009
    Assignee: Kanzaki Kokyukoki Mfg. Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tomoyuki Ebihara
  • Patent number: 7568568
    Abstract: A power transfer assembly for use in a motor vehicle and having a hydraulic coupling operable to transfer drive torque to a driveline in response to slip. The hydraulic coupling includes a transfer clutch, a clutch operator for engaging the transfer clutch, a fluid actuation system including a fluid pump for controlling movement of the clutch operator, and a magnetorheological pump clutch capable of selectively shifting the fluid pump between operative and inoperative states.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Magna Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Fred C. Porter, Todd Ekonen, Thomas C. Bowen
  • Patent number: 7553255
    Abstract: A motor vehicle driveline that can transmit power in a 4×4 mode includes two front wheels, a rear drive shaft, a differential mechanism for transmitting power to two rear axle shafts connected driveably through the differential to the rear driveshaft, and a clutch for engaging and disengaging a drive connection in the differential mechanism. A method for controlling operation of the clutch includes the steps of operating the driveline in 4×4 mode, determining a current accelerator pedal position, determining whether a current accelerator pedal position is less than a reference position for a predetermined period, determining a current speed of each front wheel of the vehicle, determining whether a current speed difference between the front wheels of the vehicle is less than a reference wheel slip for a first predetermined period, determining during a second predetermined period whether a current time rate of speed change of the rear drive shaft is less than a reference rear wheel slip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 13, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2009
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC.
    Inventors: Joe J. Torres, John O'Rear, Peter J. Barrette, Patrick Meloche, Dana J. Katinas
  • Patent number: 7549497
    Abstract: A vehicle includes a wheel speed sensor sensing a vehicle speed V, a 2WD/4WD switch operative to input an instruction to switch between a two-wheel driving state and a four-wheel driving state, a transfer and an actuator switching the two-wheel driving state and the four-wheel driving state, and an ECU driving the actuator. The ECU instructs the actuator to switch from the four-wheel driving state to the two-wheel driving state regardless of the switching instruction from the 2WD/4WD switch if the vehicle tows a trailer and runs in the four-wheel driving state when the vehicle speed exceeds a predetermined value. Consequently, it is possible to provide a four-wheel drive vehicle capable of running while towing an object and also avoiding an increase in the size of the peripheral parts of driving wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2009
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akinori Homan, Satoshi Munakata, Yoshiyuki Aoyama, Kazutaka Noguchi
  • Patent number: 7540820
    Abstract: A transfer case is provided with a range unit, an interaxle differential, a clutch assembly and a power-operated actuation mechanism. The range unit includes a planetary gearset driven by an input shaft, and a synchronized dog clutch assembly for releasably coupling one of the input shaft or an output component of the planetary gearset to an input member of the interaxle differential. The interaxle differential further includes a first output member driving a first output shaft, a second output member operably driving a second output shaft. The clutch assembly is a multi-plate friction clutch operably disposed between the first and second output shafts. The power-operated actuation mechanism includes a range actuator assembly, a clutch actuator assembly and a motor assembly operable to control coordinated actuation of the range actuator assembly and the clutch actuator assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: Magna Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Mizon, James S. Brissenden
  • Publication number: 20090127014
    Abstract: Restraining torque TF of an electronic controlled front limited slip differential (5) arranged between right and left front wheels is controlled in accordance with controlling right-left wheel rotational speed difference ?NF, which is the rotational speed difference between the right and left front wheels, while restraining torque TC of an electronic controlled coupling (8) arranged between the front and rear wheels is controlled in accordance with controlling front-rear wheel rotational speed difference ?NC obtained by subtracting ½ of the rotational speed difference between the right and left wheels (|?NF|/2) from the rotational speed difference (?NCT??NCD) between the front and rear wheels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 27, 2006
    Publication date: May 21, 2009
    Inventors: Yuichi Ushiroda, Kaoru Sawase, Yusuke Fujii
  • Patent number: 7527133
    Abstract: A torque transfer mechanism is provided for controlling the magnitude of a clutch engagement force exerted on a multi-plate clutch assembly that is operably disposed between a first rotary and a second rotary member. The torque transfer mechanism includes a power-operated face gear clutch actuator for generating and applying a clutch engagement force on the clutch assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Magna Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Helmuth Sachsenmaier, Todd Ekonen
  • Publication number: 20090093333
    Abstract: An axle assembly for a vehicle. The axle assembly includes an input shaft, a first and second output shaft, and a differential assembly. The axle assembly also includes a clutch assembly with an input member coupled to the differential assembly, an output member coupled to one of the first output shaft and the second output shaft, and a clutch member that selectively couples the input and output members. The axle assembly also includes a pump that supplies pressurized fluid to the clutch to control coupling of the input and output members. The axle assembly further includes a motor that drives the pump. The speed of the motor is controllable in order to change a fluid pressure supplied by the pump. The change in fluid pressure from the pump actuates the clutch member to thereby vary the torque between the first output shaft and the second output shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 8, 2007
    Publication date: April 9, 2009
    Inventors: Herbert L. Adams, III, Paul J. Valente, James P. Downs
  • Patent number: 7510041
    Abstract: A drive axle assembly includes a pair of axleshafts connected to a pair of wheels, and a drive mechanism for selectively coupling a driven input shaft to one or both of the axleshafts. The drive mechanism includes first and second drive units that can be selectively engaged to control the magnitude of the drive torque transferred and the relative rotary speed between the input shaft and the axleshafts. Each drive unit includes a planetary gearset disposed between the input shaft and its corresponding axleshaft, and a pair of mode clutches that may be activated to cause the planetary gearset to establish different speed ratio drive connections between the input shaft and the axleshaft. A control system including an electronic control unit (ECU) and sensors are provided to control actuation of the clutches so as to control the side-to-side traction characteristics of the drive axle assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2009
    Assignee: Magna Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Thomas C. Bowen
  • Patent number: 7506559
    Abstract: The present invention provides a shift mechanism disposed in a housing for providing operable communication between a shift actuator and a shift sleeve. The shift mechanism generally includes a shift rail, a shift fork, a first biasing member, and a second biasing member. The shift rail is slidably supported by the housing. The shift fork is slidably disposed on the shift rail and engages the shift sleeve. The first biasing member is disposed between the shift actuator and the shift rail for selectively biasing the shift rail in a first direction upon actuation of the shift actuator. The second biasing member is disposed between the housing and the shift fork for biasing the shift fork in a second direction that is substantially opposite the first direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Magna Powertrain USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeffrey Swanson, Carl H. Vonnegut
  • Patent number: 7493982
    Abstract: A control device for a four-wheel drive vehicle, including: a yaw moment control unit for selecting and applying to a wheel based on a driving state a braking force to generate vehicular yaw moment; a driving force control unit for identifying and reducing excess driving force based on the driving state; a limited slip differential control unit for limiting a front wheel differential; a front/rear driving force distribution control unit for controlling engagement torque of a clutch unit which varies front/rear torque distribution via a center differential; and a switch unit for selecting an operation/non-operation of the driving force control unit, wherein the front/rear driving force distribution control unit sets the engagement torque at a greater value when the yaw moment control unit operates while the driving force control unit is non-operating, than when the yaw moment control operates while the driving force control unit is operating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 26, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2009
    Assignee: Fuji Jukogyo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Junichi Kurosawa, Kouichi Inoue, Yoshiyuki Tanaka
  • Publication number: 20090008206
    Abstract: A transfer case for selectively coupling a secondary driveline with a primary driveline comprises: a first output shaft; a second output shaft; a clutch assembly disposed at the second output shaft, the clutch assembly including inner and outer drum members, one of the inner and outer drum members rotatable in association with rotation of the first output shaft and the other one of the inner and outer drum members coupled with the second output shaft, the clutch assembly further including a plurality of frictional clutch plates, the frictional clutch plates formed of at least one frictional clutch plate coupled with the inner drum member and at least one frictional clutch plate coupled with the outer drum member; an actuator shaft rotatably coupled with an actuator; and a clutch actuator means coupled with the actuator for applying axial force to the frictional clutch plates to transmit a drive torque of the first output shaft to the second output shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 7, 2007
    Publication date: January 8, 2009
    Applicant: WIA Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas C. Bowen
  • Patent number: 7458437
    Abstract: In a four-wheel drive motor vehicle with a primary drive axle and a secondary drive axle, at least one secondary drive axle coupling of the limited slip type is provided in the powertrain between the engine of the vehicle and the secondary drive axle. A primary drive axle coupling of the limited slip type is provided for the primary drive axle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2008
    Assignee: Haldex Traction AB
    Inventor: Per-Olof Davidsson
  • Patent number: 7434647
    Abstract: A driving force control apparatus for a four-wheel drive vehicle is provided for stably launching the vehicle irrespective of whichever condition of a road surface and whether or not a road is gradient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 19, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2008
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yasuhiko Sugo, Jiro Hara
  • Publication number: 20080230296
    Abstract: A torque bias coupling (50) for proportionally transferring driving torque to a rear secondary axle (18) of a front wheel drive based all-wheel-drive vehicle platform includes a double-planetary gear set (54) organized about a common axis (X) and a magnetic particle brake (56). The magnetic particle brake (56) is operatively coupled to a planet carrier (62) of the double-planetary gear set (54) to selectively apply a rotational reaction force there to. Regulation of the rotational reaction force enables selective transfer of torque from the vehicle driving motor (6) to the rear secondary axle (18) via the torque bias coupling (50). The configuration of the double-planetary gear set (54) enables the secondary rear axle (18) to be driven in an over-speed condition relative to the front primary axle (14) in order to improve vehicle dynamics.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2006
    Publication date: September 25, 2008
    Applicant: THE TIMKEN COMPANY
    Inventor: Mircea Gradu
  • Patent number: 7421324
    Abstract: In a drive system switching control method of an automotive four-wheeled vehicle for switching two drive systems comprising a two-wheel drive and a four-wheel drive. The method has a step of detecting a steering angle, and a step of inhibiting the drive system switching if the detected steering angle is over a predetermined angle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2008
    Assignee: Showa Corporation
    Inventor: Eiichi Terada
  • Publication number: 20080196962
    Abstract: A power transmission device includes a friction clutch operable to selectively transfer torque between an input member and an output member. An actuator is operable to provide an actuating force to the friction clutch. The actuator includes an electric motor having an output shaft drivingly coupled to a pump. The pump is operable to provide pressurized fluid to a piston acting on the friction clutch. A controller that is switched on and off in response to an ignition signal estimates the temperature of the friction clutch at the time of being switched on based on a time the controller has been off. A method of estimating a temperature of the friction clutch is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 17, 2008
    Publication date: August 21, 2008
    Applicant: AMERICAN AXLE & MANUFACTURING, INC.
    Inventor: Russell T. Capito
  • Patent number: 7399250
    Abstract: In an all-wheel drive train for a motor vehicle wherein the drive torque of the engine of the motor vehicle is transmitted from the transmission output shaft partially to the rear axle and partially to the front axle via an offset transmission structure and a laterally arranged drive shaft extending from the offset transmission structure past the transmission to the front axle of the motor vehicle extends from the offset transmission forwardly at a certain opening angle in close proximity to the transmission structure which narrows down toward the rear so that the rear end of the lateral drive shaft is relatively close to the center axis of the transmission.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 15, 2008
    Assignee: Daimler AG
    Inventors: Philip Gansloser, Tobias Haerter, Werner Klein, Hartmut Nied, Rolf Schroeder, Petra Tennert
  • Patent number: 7374012
    Abstract: An operation control system for a small-sized vehicle is capable of reducing an electric power consumption of a battery used for a power steering apparatus. The operation control system includes a main switch configured to turn on/off an engine, and a power switch function configured to turn on/off an electric motor-driven power steering apparatus supplying an assisting steering force to a steering shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akira Inui, Kazuaki Iwami