Link Member Details (e.g., Configuration, Construction) Patents (Class 280/93.51)
  • Patent number: 9321472
    Abstract: A cart with a pair of wheels (14) connected via a tilt mechanism (16) on opposing sides of a cart body (12). The cart body is releasably attachable to a frame (99) of a pedal cycle or other tilt-cornering vehicle so that the pair of wheels function as front wheels of a tricycle configuration. When separate from the pedal-cycle, the cart (10, 100, 150, 170, 200) forms a free-standing cart with a tilt lock (18) deployed to lock tilting of cart body (12).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: AVIHU MAOR YAHLOMI INVESTMENTS LTD
    Inventor: Ofir Yadan
  • Patent number: 8931789
    Abstract: A tie rod comprising locking elements to lock the tie rod to respective end supports (60,60?), the locking elements comprising, at each end support, two pairs of spacers (42, 43, 42?, 43?), each pair having surfaces joined to each other in the shape of an annular portion of a spherical cap, and at least two tightening nuts (41); wherein, at each end support, there are provided, symmetrically with respect to the support, two pairs of spacers, wherein the pair of joined surfaces of the first pair of spacers (42,43) has a radius equal to the radius of the pair of joined surfaces of the second pair of spacers (42?, 43?), said pairs of joined surfaces being arranged on different spherical surfaces, and wherein the two tightening nuts (41) are tightened externally on the first pair of spacers (42,43).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 13, 2015
    Assignee: Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche S.p.A.
    Inventors: Alfredo Poloni, Matteo Nobile
  • Patent number: 8888130
    Abstract: A riding lawn care vehicle may include a frame and a steering assembly. Wheels of the riding lawn care vehicle may be attachable to the frame. The steering assembly may include a steering wheel operably coupled to rear wheels of the riding lawn care vehicle via a cable system. The cable system may include a first cable portion, a second cable portion and a pulley assembly. The first and second cable portions may each contact a steering column pulley at respective first ends of the first and second cable portions. The steering column pulley may be configured to pull a corresponding one of the first cable portion or the second cable portion based on a direction of rotation of the steering wheel. The first and second cable portions may each be in operable communication with a steering disc at respective second ends of the first and second cable portions. The steering disc may provide translation of movement of the first cable portion and the second cable portion into corresponding movement of the rear wheels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: Husqvarna AB
    Inventor: Urban Stark
  • Patent number: 8864153
    Abstract: An automotive rear-suspension subassembly includes a rear-suspension frame, a first and second independent suspension, and a steering actuator coupled with each independent suspension through a bellcrank. The frame includes a front cross-member, a first side-rail, and a second side-rail, and defines a first side and a second side. The actuator is disposed on the first side of the frame, and the bellcrank extends across the frame from the first side to the second side. Each independent suspension is respectively configured to support a vehicle wheel, and includes a respective knuckle. Actuation of the steering actuator urges each respective knuckle to rotate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventors: James L. Luttinen, Timothy J. Schabel
  • Publication number: 20140306413
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a steering linkage system that includes a steering tie bar extending between a first spindle and a second spindle of the vehicle. The system includes a joint that is adaptable for movement in a direction that the steering tie bar extends. The system further includes a first steering link attached to and extending between a first steering location that is on or connected directly to a pitman arm of the vehicle and a second steering location that is on or connected directly to the steering tie bar by way of the joint such that the joint is movable in the direction that the steering tie bar extends. The system includes a second steering link attached to and extending between a third steering location that is on or connected directly to a middle of the first steering link that is located between the first and second steering locations, and a fourth steering location that is on or connected directly to the steering tie bar.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 31, 2014
    Publication date: October 16, 2014
    Inventor: Aaron L. Aldrich
  • Patent number: 8844953
    Abstract: A steering system for a riding lawn mower includes a wheel frame pivotally coupled to a vehicle frame about a roll axis. The wheel frame has spaced apart upper and lower wheel frame members. Steering knuckles are pivotally coupled to opposing sides of the wheel frame for rotatably supporting wheels. Each steering knuckle is straddle mounted between the upper and lower wheel frame members. A rack and pinion steering mechanism for pivoting the steering knuckles is coupled to a steering wheel via a steering column. The steering column includes a shaft portion extending along a shaft axis and has at least one socketed connection. The socketed connection transmits rotational movement about the shaft axis between the shaft portion and another rotatable component. The socketed connection also permits axial movement of the shaft portion along the shaft axis in response to the wheel frame rolling relative to the vehicle frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 30, 2014
    Assignee: Accelerated Systems Inc.
    Inventors: Desmond Mark Robertson Smyth, Stanley Arthur Baer
  • Patent number: 8794605
    Abstract: A first elastic member coupling a first inner cylinder and a first cylindrical part is integrated with the outer surface of the first inner cylinder and the inner surface of the first cylindrical part, thereby ensuring flexibility in molding the first cylindrical part. In addition, a stopper body is formed by making a part of the inner surface of the first cylindrical part facing the first inner cylinder in a main-load application direction project inward along a radius of the first cylindrical part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2014
    Assignee: Kurashiki Kako Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Masaaki Mizobe
  • Patent number: 8783993
    Abstract: A joint and/or bearing arrangement (1) has at least two connecting rods (2, 3), which come together in a receiving region (4), and accommodate a joint (5) or bearing in the receiving region (4), The joint or bearing (5) comprises a joint body (7), which is movably held in a joint body seat (6), and a housing (8) which accommodates and radially externally encloses the joint body seat (6), is designed such that the housing (8) comprises, on the outside, at least one rotation-lock region (9, 10, 14) having a non-circular contour.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2014
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventors: Hans-Gerd Brunneke, Christian Losche
  • Patent number: 8770602
    Abstract: An improved structure for a steering linkage adapted for use in a vehicle steering system and method for producing the same. According to one embodiment, the steering linkage includes a first member having a first longitudinal axis, a second member having a second longitudinal axis, and a third member operatively coupling together the first member and the second member together with the first and second longitudinal axes in alignment with each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventor: Ryan Mark Belleau
  • Publication number: 20140138927
    Abstract: A tie rod comprising locking elements to lock the tie rod to respective end supports (60,60?), the locking elements comprising, at each end support, two pairs of spacers (42, 43, 42?, 43?), each pair having surfaces joined to each other in the shape of an annular portion of a spherical cap, and at least two tightening nuts (41); wherein, at each end support, there are provided, symmetrically with respect to the support, two pairs of spacers, wherein the pair of joined surfaces of the first pair of spacers (42,43) has a radius equal to the radius of the pair of joined surfaces of the second pair of spacers (42?, 43?), said pairs of joined surfaces being arranged on different spherical surfaces, and wherein the two tightening nuts (41) are tightened externally on the first pair of spacers (42,43).
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 6, 2012
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche S.P.A.
    Inventors: Alfredo Poloni, Matteo Nobile
  • Publication number: 20140125024
    Abstract: A method of forming a tie rod tube assembly by magnetic pulse welding is provided. The method can be used to form tie rod assemblies with a tie rod tube centerpiece that is parabolic in shape. In addition, the method can be used to form a tie rod assembly where the end fittings and centerpiece are made from different materials. Also described is a tie rod assembly manufactured using the method or methods of the invention.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 7, 2013
    Publication date: May 8, 2014
    Applicant: DANA AUTOMOTIVE SYSTEMS GROUP, LLC
    Inventors: Phillip E. Deierling, Mark A. Davis, Jeffrey A. Dutkiewicz
  • Patent number: 8702112
    Abstract: An improved structure for a steering linkage adapted for use in a vehicle steering system and method for producing the same. According to one embodiment, the steering linkage comprises a first member and a second member disposed at least partially within the first member and operatively secured together by at least a mechanical type of connection. The second member includes a stop feature provided therein which is configured such that in the event the point of connection between the first member and the second member is disrupted, the stop feature is operative to prevent the first member and the second member from completely separating from each other so that at least a portion of the second member remains within the first member so as to operatively couple the first and second members together.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 22, 2014
    Assignee: TRW Automotive U.S. LLC
    Inventor: Ryan Mark Belleau
  • Patent number: 8678406
    Abstract: Vehicles and systems are provided. In accordance with one embodiment, for example, a vehicle may include, but is not limited to, an axle, a bearing coupled to the axle, a knuckle coupled to the bearing, and an isolation sleeve coupled between the bearing and the knuckle. In one embodiment, for example, the isolation sleeve may be composed of solid zinc. In another embodiment, for example, the isolation sleeve may include a zinc coating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: GM Global Technology Operations LLC
    Inventor: Todd D. Albertson
  • Patent number: 8678405
    Abstract: When a motor vehicle is steered, as turning reaction forces from the road surface, for example, rearward radial loads are applied from rear wheels to corresponding end portions of a steered shaft via corresponding knuckles and corresponding tie rods. A motor vehicle steering system includes first and second counter load application mechanisms that apply counter loads against the radial loads to the corresponding end portions of the steered shaft. Each of the counter load application mechanisms includes a motion conversion mechanism that converts torsional motion of the corresponding end portion of an axle beam caused by a ground contact reaction force of the corresponding rear wheel via the corresponding knuckle and a corresponding king pin into, for example, forward motion of the corresponding end portion of the steered shaft.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Jtekt Corporation
    Inventor: Takashi Tashiro
  • Patent number: 8657313
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a rear wheel steering system for vehicles and vehicle comprising said system which allows rotating the rear wheels by means of a single actuator without increasing the suspended masses, comprising an independent suspension assembly for each rear wheel, wherein each independent suspension assembly comprises a suspension arm having a first end operatively connected to an axle of a wheel, each suspension arm having two second ends which are articulated to a fixed part of the vehicle, each suspension arm being able to rotate with respect to a rotation shaft where the two second ends of each suspension arm are articulated; the system comprising a synchronization device comprising at least one synchronization rod the ends of which are connected by means of sliding carriages to the rotation shafts, each sliding carriage being operatively connected to the axle of each wheel by means of a transmission rod.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2014
    Assignees: Edai Technical Unit A.I.E., Paq Electronics, S.L., Gat Staff S.L., Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation
    Inventors: Alberto Peña Rodríguez, Iñaki Iglesias Aguinaga, Rafael Teijeiro Castro, Ivan Seras Escolano, Imanol Fernández Fontecha, Guillermo Cadiñanos Bañales, Javier Lezama Ortiz De Urbina, Gorka Agos Esparza
  • Patent number: 8631892
    Abstract: A load and transport cart includes, under a loading platform, a triangular steering plate and, therebelow, a front part of a footboard, wherein the steering plate has a bore, an annular-segment shaped groove, an elongated hole and two opposing first ball heads. The first ball heads each lie in an articulated manner in a respective bearing at one end of a respective steering lever and, at the other end of each lever is a bearing for a respective further ball head of a respective triangular swinging fork on a stub axle of which a respective front wheel is rotatably mounted, wherein each of the swinging forks is rotatably mounted on the loading platform via pivot pins, and wherein the steering axis is located in front of an imaginary axis and can be deflected to the left or right by the steering angle of 45°.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Inventor: Hans-Peter Constin
  • Publication number: 20130334785
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a rear wheel steering system for vehicles and vehicle comprising said system which allows rotating the rear wheels by means of a single actuator without increasing the suspended masses, comprising an independent suspension assembly for each rear wheel, wherein each independent suspension assembly comprises a suspension arm having a first end operatively connected to an axle of a wheel, each suspension arm having two second ends which are articulated to a fixed part of the vehicle, each suspension arm being able to rotate with respect to a rotation shaft where the two second ends of each suspension arm are articulated; the system comprising a synchronisation device comprising at least one synchronisation rod the ends of which are connected by means of sliding carriages to the rotation shafts, each sliding carriage being operatively connected to the axle of each wheel by means of a transmission rod.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 14, 2013
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Inventors: Alberto PEÑA RODRÍGUEZ, Iñaki IGLESIAS AGUINAGA, Rafael TEIJEIRO CASTRO, Ivan SERAS ESCOLANO, Imanol FERNÁNDEZ FONTECHA, Guillermo CADIÑANOS BAÑALES, Javier LEZAMA ORTIZ DE URBINA, Gorka AGOS ESPARZA
  • Patent number: 8573615
    Abstract: A suspension system suitable for a small-sized vehicle such as an all terrain vehicle. A strut damper is arranged wherein a downwardly extending line of an axis of the strut damper is located in front of a drive shaft extending to the depth of a drawing from the rotational center of a front wheel. As interference between the strut damper and the drive shaft is not a concern, a mounting position of the strut damper can be fully lowered. In addition, the length of the axis of the strut damper can be fully secured. Therefore, the height of the vehicle can be lowered. In addition, the design of a vehicle body is facilitated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Naoki Kuwabara, Bunzo Seki
  • Patent number: 8490993
    Abstract: A self-tracking cart is provided and includes a body defining an enclosure into and from which a secondary cart is receivable and removable, selectively rotatable first and second hitch assemblies, first and second motive elements, first and second steering assemblies to turn the first and second motive elements in opposite directions responsive to rotations of the first and second hitch assemblies and a linkage, which is coupled to the first and second hitch assemblies to cause the first and second hitch assemblies to rotate jointly in opposing directions, the linkage being disposed for non-interference with the secondary cart during reception and removal thereof into and from the enclosure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 23, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventor: Serge Benoit
  • Patent number: 8474842
    Abstract: There are provided left and right arm mechanisms that connect an arm attachment portion as a part of a vehicle body to vehicle wheel attachment portions attached with front wheels via a front arm and a rear arm disposed in a front-rear direction of a vehicle and having plural links; and servo motors that independently drive the left and right arm mechanisms so that each link angle corresponding to a turning angle is determined. The setting position of the imaginary kingpin axis may be changed. Each link angle changes within a range of maintaining a correlation in which the turning angle increases in accordance with an increase in the steering operation amount when controlling the servo motors so as to obtain the turning angle corresponding to the steering operation amount of a steering wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroshi Shibuya
  • Patent number: 8459671
    Abstract: A tie rod supporting part is provided in an area ?2 between a lateral line passing an inner side of a wheel and a king pin axis in a front view of the vehicle in a non-steering state. More specifically, the tie rod supporting part is arranged on the central side of the vehicle off the side of the wheel. The tie rod supporting part never interferes with the wheel and can be arranged near the central center of the wheel. As a result, a dimension in the height of the tie rod supporting part extending from the knuckle can be reduced and the knuckle can be miniaturized and lightened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Naoki Kuwabara, Bunzo Seki
  • Patent number: 8459672
    Abstract: A steering cable arrangement wherein front wheel steering drums turn at different rates to keep the axes of the front wheels intersecting with the axis of the rear wheels at a single point. The cable path between the two drums is altered by the steering cables being threaded around sheaves on an arm whose position is controlled by a cam follower following a cam slot in at least one of the drums.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Inventor: Albert C. Pollard, Sr.
  • Patent number: 8444160
    Abstract: A suspension device in which a knuckle for supporting a wheel is supported by arms and a damper is connected to the knuckle. A suspension device (10) is configured in such a manner that the intersection (73) between a line extended from an elastic kingpin axis (68) of a rear wheel (31) and a road surface (72) is located on the rear side, relative to the vehicle, of the ground contact center (74) of the rear wheel. The elastic kingpin axis is tilted forward relative to the vehicle and is disposed below the rotation center (32) of the rear wheel in the vertical direction. A lower connection section (81b) of a damper (18) is provided on a line (33) drawn in substantially the vertical direction from the rotation center of the rear wheel. A damper axis (84) is tilted inward in the width direction of the vehicle and tilted forward relative to the vehicle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kimio Okamoto, Hajime Kajiwara, Masanori Watanabe, Masatoshi Mori
  • Publication number: 20130119627
    Abstract: When a motor vehicle is steered, as turning reaction forces from the road surface, for example, rearward radial loads are applied from rear wheels to corresponding end portions of a steered shaft via corresponding knuckles and corresponding tie rods. A motor vehicle steering system includes first and second counter load application mechanisms that apply counter loads against the radial loads to the corresponding end portions of the steered shaft. Each of the counter load application mechanisms includes a motion conversion mechanism that converts torsional motion of the corresponding end portion of an axle beam caused by a ground contact reaction force of the corresponding rear wheel via the corresponding knuckle and a corresponding king pin into, for example, forward motion of the corresponding end portion of the steered shaft.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 31, 2011
    Publication date: May 16, 2013
    Applicant: JTEKT CORPORATION
    Inventor: Takashi Tashiro
  • Patent number: 8419028
    Abstract: A suspension assembly includes at least one suspension arm having a suspension joint structured to vary the height of a vehicle dependent on the operative orientation of the suspension arm and suspension joint when connected to the vehicle. The suspension joint includes two bushing members each formed of a resilient material and two retaining assemblies, wherein each retaining assembly is disposed in a retaining relation to a different one of the two bushing members on opposite sides of one end of the suspension arm. Either each of the bushing members or each of the two retaining assemblies includes a first section and a second section being of different, predetermined thicknesses. While the suspension arm and suspension joint may be produced as equipment of original manufacture, a conventional suspension arm may be repaired or retrofitted by replacing its original suspension joint with a modified suspension joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Vertex Export and Import, Corp.
    Inventors: Gilberto Mesa, Ruben Dario Lopez
  • Patent number: 8419031
    Abstract: A new and novel suspension link for the suspension system of vehicles, which is easily removed and replaced in a repair mode. More specifically, there is an vehicle sway bar stabilizer link that has angle capability for replacing prior art suspension links having ball-type devices which comprise a polished steel ball surround by a steel liner, or a polished steel ball surrounded by a plastic liner. A method of manufacture is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Inventor: Larry Verbowski
  • Patent number: 8419027
    Abstract: A steering apparatus includes a first joint disposed on a control rod that extends rotatably through a head tube, two second joints disposed respectively on two suspension units, and two connecting bars each connected between the first joint and a respective one of the second joints. The first joint includes a seat disposed fixedly on the control rod, at least one first rotating member having a central axis and rotatable on the seat about the central axis of the first rotating member, and at least one second rotating member having a central axis and rotatable on the first rotating member about the central axis of the second rotating member. The axes of the first and second rotating members of the first joint are perpendicular to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2013
    Assignee: Kwang Yang Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hsin-Chih Ting, Yen-Hsiu Lee, Chun-Hao Huang
  • Publication number: 20130062850
    Abstract: A coupled torsion beam axle (CTBA) has improved compliance characteristics that can control a tow value of a rear wheel to be towed in during steering when the steering is performed in a simple structure. The CTBA includes trailing arms and carriers on which rear wheels are mounted via carrier brackets at both ends of a torsion beam, respectively, a center pipe penetrating in a longitudinal direction of a vehicle at the center of the torsion beam, and a steering rod of which one end is linked to the carrier and the other end is linked to the center pipe.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2011
    Publication date: March 14, 2013
    Applicant: HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY
    Inventors: Byongcheol KIM, Seongho AN, Sungjin KIM
  • Publication number: 20130062849
    Abstract: A CTBA with improved compliance characteristics has a simple structure and can control a tow value of a rear wheel to be towed in while steering is performed in. The CTBA may include trailing arms and carriers on which rear wheels are mounted via carrier brackets at both ends of a torsion beam, a mounting bracket fixed to the bottom of a vehicle body, and a steering rod of which one end is linked to the carrier and the other end is linked to the mounting bracket.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2011
    Publication date: March 14, 2013
    Applicant: HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY
    Inventors: Sungjin KIM, Seongho An, Byongcheol Kim
  • Patent number: 8387998
    Abstract: A steering mechanism for a sugarcane harvester having pivotable forward frame sections and a pivotal topper assembly for maneuverability. The steering mechanism includes arms extending from the respective frame sections and topper assembly. Steering links pivotally interconnect the arms in a way that the topper steering arm is sandwiched between a pair of links. An eccentric pivotal connection between the topper steering arm and the links is provided to accommodate the change in radius. Actuators connect to the links to provide movement of the steering arms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2013
    Assignee: Deere & Company
    Inventor: Michael L. Hinds
  • Publication number: 20120306175
    Abstract: A floor cleaning machine is provided that includes a chassis that supports at least one cleaning element. The chassis is supported by a plurality of wheels, one which is steerable via a steering wheel that is interconnected to a housing also associated with the chassis. The chassis provided includes a plurality of movable housing members, one of which is associated with the steering wheel. To access the internal components of the floor cleaning machine, the front housing is rotated or moved away from the other housings wherein the steering wheel does not require disconnection to allow this movement.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 20, 2012
    Publication date: December 6, 2012
    Applicant: KARCHER NORTH AMERICA, INC.
    Inventors: Steven W. Tucker, Daniel C. Venard
  • Patent number: 8267414
    Abstract: A suspension assembly structured to facilitate a selective variance in a height of a vehicle including at least one suspension arm having a suspension joint structured to vary the height of the vehicle dependent on the operative orientation of the suspension arm and suspension joint when connected to the vehicle. The suspension joint includes two bushing members each formed of a resilient material and two retaining assemblies, wherein each retaining assembly is disposed in retaining relation to a different one of the two bushing members on opposite sides of one end of the suspension arm. Either each of the bushing members or each of the two retaining assemblies includes a first section and a second section being of different, predetermined thicknesses. While the suspension arm and suspension joint may be produced as equipment of original manufacture, a conventional suspension arm may be repaired or retrofit by replacing its original suspension joint with a modified suspension joint.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2012
    Assignee: Vertex Export and Import, Corp.
    Inventors: Gilberto Mesa, Ruben Dario Lopez
  • Patent number: 8262109
    Abstract: A steering apparatus for a zero-turn radius vehicle using a steering mechanism coupled to a first set of wheel assemblies by a plurality of cables. User input to the steering mechanism causes the cables to turn the first set of wheel assemblies about a vertical axis. Specifically, the cables link the steering mechanism to cam mechanisms that are attached to each wheel assembly. The design of the cam mechanism, which preferably includes two cams of varying radii, enables the two wheel assemblies to rotate about their vertical axes at varied degrees of rotation and greater than ninety degrees from the forward facing position, thereby resulting in zero-turn radius capability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 11, 2012
    Assignee: Hydro-Gear Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Douglas W. Bell, Bryce E. Steenburg
  • Patent number: 8256315
    Abstract: Disclosed is an apparatus for automatically adjusting clearance of a support yoke of a rack and pinion type steering apparatus, the apparatus including: a support yoke making contact with one side of a rack bar so as to support the rack bar; at least one cam assembled with one side of the support yoke so as to support the support yoke; a yoke plug which is positioned at one side of the cam so as to support the cam and is assembled with a rack housing; and a yoke spring included at one side of the support yoke so as to apply elastic force to the support yoke in a direction of the rack bar. In a case where the support yoke is worn away due to friction, etc.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Mando Corporation
    Inventor: Joon-kyu Song
  • Patent number: 8256780
    Abstract: A steering device includes left and right arm mechanisms each including a front arm and a rear arm whose one ends are rotatably connected to a wheel-mounting portion at wheel-side connecting points and whose other ends are rotatably connected at body-side connecting points. The front arm and rear arm of the arm mechanisms each include a plurality of links, and adjacent links are rotatably connected to each other at an intermediate connecting point. An arm driving device drives the arm mechanisms independently from each other such that the angles of individual links around the connecting points are uniquely determined.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 4, 2012
    Assignee: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Hiroshi Shibuya
  • Patent number: 8246060
    Abstract: A tie rod for a vehicle axle assembly is constructed using substantially compliant, flexible, and/or resilient material. Such a resilient tie rod may be provided with a rectangular or otherwise non-circular cross-section. Such a resilient tie rod may be used in combination with an axle assembly of the type having an axle and a steering knuckle rotatably associated with each end of the axle. The tie rod may be rotatably or non-rotatably secured to the steering knuckles.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Hendrickson USA, L.L.C.
    Inventors: Michael J. Gottschalk, Mark W. Dankow, Scott A. Massa, Harold D. Johnson
  • Patent number: 8240686
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a steering apparatus. According to a self-steering apparatus of the present invention, an angle of wheels becomes tilted automatically depending on a slope of a frame in applications for forward two-wheeled vehicle or backward two-wheeled steering apparatus of bicycles, motorcycles, vehicles, and so forth. At the same time, a steering angle is also matched to the tilted direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 10, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2012
    Inventor: Jin Man Choi
  • Patent number: 8196940
    Abstract: A suspension arm may include a metal ball housing, a metal bushing housing, a metal connecting portion including a ball housing annulus at an end portion thereof, wherein the metal ball housing is inserted and mounted in the ball housing annulus, and wherein the other end portion of the metal connecting portion is connected to the metal bushing housing, and a reinforcement member wrapping the metal ball housing, the metal bushing housing and the metal connecting portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2012
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventor: Pil Young Jeong
  • Patent number: 8186696
    Abstract: A steel tie rod end includes a shaft portion and first and second fitting portions. A minimum area portion having a small radially cross-sectional area is provided for the shaft portion, and 90% or above of a steel structure of the minimum area portion is formed of martensite or tempered martensite. The surface hardness of the minimum area portion and the average hardness of the radial cross section of the minimum area portion are 600 Hv or below, and the average hardness of the radial cross section of the first fitting portion and the average hardness of the radial cross section of the second fitting portion are 300 Hv or below. A method of manufacturing a steel tie rod end includes a quenching process of heating only a prospective shaft portion by high frequency to an austenitizing temperature and then rapidly cooling the prospective shaft portion by water or cooling medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignees: Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha, Nippon Steel Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi Komoto, Hitoshi Sakuma, Takashi Hirano, Hiroyuki Mizuno, Shinya Teramoto, Masahiro Toda, Hiromasa Takada, Makoto Okonogi
  • Patent number: 8172014
    Abstract: A vehicle steering means with a first front ground-engaging steerable wheel located in the front center of the vehicle; second and third front ground-engaging wheels located either side of the first front ground-engaging wheel with means for adjusting the steer angle and the height depending on the steer angle of the first front ground-engaging wheel. When the first front ground-engaging wheel has a straight-ahead steer angle, the second and third wheels are also straight-ahead and all three front ground-engaging wheels are in contact with the ground; and when the steer angle of the first front ground-engaging wheel is turned, the steer angle of the front ground-engaging wheel on the outside of said curve is turned at least partly towards the steer angle of the first front ground-engaging wheel, the steer angle of the front ground-engaging wheel on the inside of said curve is not substantially turned towards the steer angle of the first front ground-engaging wheel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 8, 2012
    Assignee: Advanced Vehicle Concepts Limited
    Inventors: Fredrick Charles Brown, Graham Reginald Nicholls
  • Patent number: 8152183
    Abstract: A steering apparatus for a zero-turn radius vehicle using a steering mechanism coupled to a first set of wheel assemblies by a plurality of cables. User input to the steering mechanism causes the cables to turn the first set of wheel assemblies about a vertical axis. Specifically, the cables link the steering mechanism to cam mechanisms that are attached to each wheel assembly. The design of the cam mechanism, which preferably includes two cams of varying radii, enables the two wheel assemblies to rotate about their vertical axes at varied degrees of rotation and greater than ninety degrees from the forward facing position, thereby resulting in zero-turn radius capability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2012
    Assignee: Hydro-Gear Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Douglas W. Bell, Bryce E. Steenburg
  • Patent number: 8132820
    Abstract: A lower arm mounting unit for a multi-link suspension system having a knuckle rotatably supporting a wheel, and first and second lower arms connecting the knuckle to a vehicle body, may include a pair of mounting protrusions formed to the knuckle, a first ball stud connecting an end portion of the first lower arm to the pair of the mounting protrusions, and a second ball stud connecting an end portion of the second lower arm to the pair of the mounting protrusions and the first ball stud by inserting the end portion of the second ball stud between the pair of the mounting protrusions, the end portion of the first ball stud, and the knuckle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Byungkyu Lee
  • Publication number: 20120059549
    Abstract: A steering assembly for steering a vehicle. The steering assembly comprises a first steering knuckle having a first wheel rotatably mounted thereto, a first swing mechanism for enabling displacement of the first steering knuckle along a first arced path and a first guiding mechanism for pivoting the first steering knuckle when the first steering knuckle is displaced along the first arced path in order to maintain the first wheel oriented tangentially relative to the first arced path. The first arced path is concave relative to a central longitudinal axis of the vehicle and spaced from the first frame member, away from a central longitudinal axis of the vehicle, by a distance sufficient to prevent the first wheel from contacting the first frame member when the first steering knuckle is pivoted. There is further provided a method of operating the steering assembly.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 17, 2010
    Publication date: March 8, 2012
    Applicant: GN Technologies Inc.
    Inventor: Gerard Noel
  • Publication number: 20110233886
    Abstract: In a vehicle steering device, extendable portions whose elastic properties corresponding to a force acting in a compressing direction and whose elastic properties corresponding to a force acting in a stretching direction are asymmetrical are disposed in a symmetric fashion at intermediate sections of tie rods. Thus, an effective steering gear ratio with respect to leftward and rightward steering can be properly changed in accordance with a vehicle speed by using a simple configuration that does not use a complex mechanism having a motor. In this case, a steering gear ratio can be mainly changed for one of the wheels, while a linear lateral force corresponding to steering can be generated at the other wheel. Moreover, since the steering gear ratio can be changed mechanically without performing motor control, the occurrence of control delay can be prevented, thereby reliably preventing deterioration of the driver's operational feel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 21, 2011
    Publication date: September 29, 2011
    Applicant: FUJI JUKOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Yuichiro Tsukasaki
  • Publication number: 20110215543
    Abstract: An assembly is provided comprising a twin I-beam front suspension system and a parallelogram steering linkage operatively coupled to the suspension system. A vehicle incorporating the assembly is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 2, 2010
    Publication date: September 8, 2011
    Inventors: Vijay Bokil, Bruce C. Arnold, Geoffrey Lawrence Gordon, Jeremy A. Rawlings
  • Patent number: 8011678
    Abstract: A steering apparatus for a zero-turn radius vehicle using a steering mechanism coupled to a first set of wheel assemblies by a plurality of cables. User input to the steering mechanism causes the cables to turn the first set of wheel assemblies about a vertical axis. Specifically, the cables link the steering mechanism to cam mechanisms that are attached to each wheel assembly. The design of the cam mechanism, which preferably includes two cams of varying radii, enables the two wheel assemblies to rotate about their vertical axes at varied degrees of rotation and greater than ninety degrees from the forward facing position, thereby resulting in zero-turn radius capability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Hydro-Gear Limited Partnership
    Inventors: Douglas W. Bell, Bryce E. Steenburg
  • Publication number: 20110163512
    Abstract: A steel tie rod end includes a shaft portion and first and second fitting portions. A minimum area portion having a small radially cross-sectional area is provided for the shaft portion, and 90% or above of a steel structure of the minimum area portion is formed of martensite or tempered martensite. The surface hardness of the minimum area portion and the average hardness of the radial cross section of the minimum area portion are 600 Hv or below, and the average hardness of the radial cross section of the first fitting portion and the average hardness of the radial cross section of the second fitting portion are 300 Hv or below. A method of manufacturing a steel tie rod end includes a quenching process of heating only a prospective shaft portion by high frequency to an austenitizing temperature and then rapidly cooling the prospective shaft portion by water or cooling medium.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 7, 2009
    Publication date: July 7, 2011
    Applicants: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA, NIPPON STEEL CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takeshi Komoto, Hitoshi Sakuma, Takashi Hirano, Hiroyuki Mizuno, Shinya Teramoto, Masahiro Toda, Hiromasa Takada, Makoto Okonogi
  • Patent number: 7963536
    Abstract: A plastic rocker pendulum is provided with a rod-shaped basic body (1) and mounting elements (2, 3) arranged at the free ends of the basic body (1) for the ball heads of ball pins. The cross section of the basic body (1) has an essentially S-shaped design with at least three crossbars (5, 6, 7) arranged in parallel at spaced locations from one another and connection webs (8, 9) coupling two adjacent crossbars (5, 6, 7) each. The connection webs (8, 9) are arranged at opposite end areas of the crossbars (5, 6, 7). The geometrical moment of inertia can be substantially increased compared to conventional cross sections due to this cross section shape.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2011
    Assignee: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventor: Frank Budde
  • Publication number: 20110121531
    Abstract: Tie rod for the wheel suspension of a vehicle with a tie rod and at least one bearing bushing arranged in the tie rod, wherein the bearing bushing can be connected with the wheel suspension. The bearing bushing is provided with a support element which has an end region spaced from the bearing bushing that is supported on the tie rod.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 26, 2004
    Publication date: May 26, 2011
    Applicant: ZF Friedrichshafen AG
    Inventor: Bernhard Neuss
  • Publication number: 20110079977
    Abstract: A self-propelled windrower includes a rear axle having end sections which are adjustable to vary the tread width of caster-mounted rear wheels having upright spindles mounted for swiveling within cylindrical receptacles defining outer ends of the axle end sections. Front wheels of the windrower are steerable and a steering assist is provided including right and left steering cylinders having barrels respectively mounted to right and left reaction arms by a mounting permitting the cylinder to pivot vertically and horizontally, with the rods being coupled to respective steering arms fixed to the top of the spindles. In a first embodiment, right and left brackets are respectively fixed to forward surfaces of opposite end regions of a tubular center section of the rear axle in which the axle end sections are received for telescopic adjustment.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 6, 2009
    Publication date: April 7, 2011
    Inventors: David W. Geiger, Stephen K. Parsons, Shirishkumar Jalindernath Chobhe