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Publication numberUS1479841 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 8, 1924
Filing dateOct 9, 1922
Priority dateOct 9, 1922
Publication numberUS 1479841 A, US 1479841A, US-A-1479841, US1479841 A, US1479841A
InventorsCharlie E Stover
Original AssigneeCharlie E Stover
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus for washing automobiles
US 1479841 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ma g @9% f Mwm C. E. STOVER n APPARATUS FOR WASHING AUTOMOBILES Filed Oct. 9 1922 2 Sheets-Sheet l 31a/ventola im s, i924.; l 1,479,841

A c, E sTovER APPARATUS FOR WASHING AUTOMOBILES Filed Oct. 9, 1922 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 attenua Patented dan. A8, 1924.



Application filed October 9, 1922. Serial No. 593,206.

To all whom t may cof/warn:

Be it known that I, CHARLIE E. STOVER, a'citizen of the United States, residing at St. Paul, in the county of Ramsey and State of Minnesota, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Apparatus for Washing Automobiles, of which the following is a specification.

This invention relates to washing apparatus for automatically washing the wheels of automobiles, and more particularly to the type of washing apparatus employing baths of water for partially submerging the automobile, and-has for one of its objects to provide a supporting structure designed to read` ily accommodate, without preliminary adjustment, cars of varying lengths of tread, and which will have mechanism adapted to be driven by the motor of the automobile whereby to a itate the water and cause the wheels to rictionally engage with stationary brushes to be washed thereby.

A further object of my invention is the provision of a washing apparatus of the class described, which includes submerged, readily interchangeable, stationary brushes,

' into engagement with which the car may be conveniently driven to have the sides Vof its wheels subjected to vigorous brushing operations, under its own motive power.

A still further object of my invention, is to provide in a washing apparatus of the class described, submerged, oppositely disposed brushes, adapted to brush against the inner and outer sides of all the wheels simultaneously, and submerged guiding means to guide the wheels to the brushes.

Further objects and advantages ofimy invention will appear as this specification progresses, the invention consisting in the construction, combination, vand arrangement of parts hereinafter described and claimed.

In the accompanying drawings forming part of this specification:

Figure 1, is a perspective view of Washing apparatus embodying my invention.

Figure 2, is a diagrammatic side view of an automobile shown resting on the front and rear wheel supports-forming part of my invention-and showing the relative position of the brushes.

Figure 3, is an enlarged sectional view on line 3 3 of Figure l.

Figure 1, is an enlarged sectional view on line 4 4 of Figure 1.

Figure 5, is a side elevation of the band p clutch for the rear wheel supports.

Figure 6, is an enlarged fragmentary perpecive view of the clutch lever and clutch Figure` 7, is a vertical sectional view, showing the construction of the end rollers of the frontwheel supports.

Figure 8, .is a side view of the sprocket gear forming part of said end rollers.

Figure 9, represents a` portion of the sprocket chain employed in the construction of the front wheel supports.

Figure 10, is a side view of the same.

Figure 11, is a fragmentary perspective view of a modified form of sprocket chain.

Figure 12, represents a side elevation of the end of the intermediate rollers forming part of the front wheel support.

Figure 13, is a s ide elevation of a journal box, typical of those used for all of the rollers.

Figure 14, is a diagrammatic side elevav distinguished from devices now in use, i

which latter are designed with a view to having, the car driven about in the pool, which entails great expense in'construction and up-keep, as apparatus of this kind require too much costly spaceto be located in down town districts of large cities. This I accomplish by providing means for holding the car bodily stationary, but enabling its partly submerged wheels to be driven under its own motive power, thus securing the same washing action as is commonly secured in the apparatus referred to. In addition to this washing effect, however, I provide constantly submerged brushes, adapted to engage with the wheels for the purpose of dislodging particles not ordinarily re.- moved b just rotating the wheels in the water. hus, I require a tank only suciently large to receive the automobile, with lll A. designates 1, and, as

'here shown, an end wall 2, and opposite said end wall an inclined driveway 3, the door l of the tank being level andD formed' with a pair of spaced transverse recesses 5 and t, the former being appreciably wider than the latter and located near the end wall 2, and havin parallel side walls 7, which extend at ririt angles to the longitudinal axis of the tank. The side walls 8 of the recess 6, also extend at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the tank, the recess being spaced from the foot of the inclined driveway 3., to form an initialfloor portion 4l, for initially receiving the front wheels ot a descending automobile or car, said door portion being formed with a pair of longitudinally disposed guide ways 9, spaced' to match the lateral distance between the wheels to permit the latter to travel freely therein, to thereby guide the car in a definite course longitudinally of the tank.I 'lhe recesses 5 and 6 are joined midway of their ends by the longitudinal central cavity 10, the latter having parallel side walls and being preferably equal in depth to said recesses. 'lhe floor of the tank between the recesses is further formed with a pair of longitudinally disposed guide ways 11, preferably similar in cross section to the guide ways 9, and on a level and in alinement therewith. `Mounted to rotate in a vertical plane, disposed parallel with the longitudinal axis of the tank, a pair in line with each of the guide ways 9, are the driving rollers 12 and 12', said rollers spacedly arranged side by side to bring the top edges thereof approximately level with the Hoor Ll, andenable them to receive the rear wheels of an automobile, as indicated in Figure 2 of the drawings.

Mounted in the recess 5, in a manner to enable them to rotate in parallelism with the rollers 12 and 12 and arranged in longitudinal alinement with the guide lways 11, are the rollers 1814-14f1t and 15, arranged spacedly in a row extending longitudinally of the tank, with their top edges in a plane which is parallel with the floor,"

but preferably spaced slightly below the level thereof. rll`hese tive rollers are mounted to form a group, there being one group for each of the guide ways 11. The rollers 13 and 15 of each group, carry at each of their free ends a sprocket wheel 16, over which runs the endless sprocket chain 17, in a manner to bring the top surface thereof flush with the top edge of the roller, the annular recess 18 being provided for that purpose. Each link of the chain is provided with an inwardly extending lug 19,

acarrear whereby it may be lirmly secured, as by means of a bolt 20, to the transversely disposed tread members 21 These tread members extend between and slightly beyond the gears 16, and are formed with recesses 22 at opposite ends, to clear that portion oi' the teeth of the sprocket wheels which projects above the chain, as indicated in Figure 10. The top surface of the tread members is normally preferably level with thc floor l, the members forming collectively an endless vcarrier belt, or what may be termed a traveling iloor portion, similar to the endless treads em loyed for driving treadmills. Thus, a car escending the inclined driveway will be Iguided by the guide ways 9, onto the pairs of rollers 12 and 12', and by the guide ways 11 onto the traveling floor portion.

The mounting of each of the rollers 1.2 may be described as comprising a sha-ft 23 rotatably journaled inthe journal boxes 2l, and carryingl rigidly at its outer end the sprocket wheel 25, and near its inner end the sprocket wheel 26. The mounting of each of the rollers 12 comprises a shaft 2T, journaled in similar journal boxes 24, and carries at its outer end the sprocket wheel 28, the sprocket wheels 25 and 28 being operatively connect/ed by the endless sprocket chain 29. The inner ends of the shafts 23 are joined by the universal connection 3() for the purpose of lending freedom of action to each of the connected shafts in its operation, to guard against binding and avoid the necessity of having the shafts in absolute alinement.

Secured firmly on the outer end of one of the shafts 23 is the clutch drum 3l, the periphery of which is frictionally engaged by the clutch band 32, the respective ends of said band being pivotally connected as by means of the bolts 32 and 32 to the clutch lever 33, said clutch lever being pivot-ally sup-ported by means of the pivot bolt 32 on the stand 34, which in turn is firmly secured by means of the bolts 311 to portions of the tank built up\ for that purpose. rll`he lever is further provided with an outwardly extending lug 35, through which loosely extends a vertically disposed standard 35', which is firmly secured to the base of the stand and is surrounded by the extensile coil spring 35, which urges the lever toward the drum to eii'ect the release of the clutch band. 'lhe lever 33 extends upwardly beyond the top of the wall 1, so that it may be conveniently operated from that position to firmly grip the clutch drum, and thus prevent the rollers 12 and 12 from revolving when a car is being driven over them.

The rollers 1l constitute idlers andserve as intermediate rolling supports for the endless carrier belts 36, and are formed at loo lBU

Lenser their ends with a peripheral offset 36 to clear the sprocket chain, so that the tread members 21 will freely ride upon the roll-4 ers. Each of the rollers of the endless treads is mounted on a shaft 37., which in turn is journaled at its ends in journal boxes similar to the boxes 24, the shafts of the rollers 15 extending inwardly beyond their respective inner journal boxes, and carrying rigidly thereat the sprocket wheels 38, which in turn are operatively connected, respectively, to the sprocket wheels 26, by means of the endless sprocket chains 39. Obviously, a. rot-ary movement of the 'driving rollers 12 will communicate positive motion to the endless treads, which latter may be termed endless treadles for rotating the front wheels of the automobile.

As described in the foregoing, the guide ways 9 and 11 control the direction of travel of the car to compel the wheels thereof to occupy a definite position on the treadle and on .the driving rollers 12 and 12', with respect to the longitudinal axis of the tank. This position may be indicated by the dotted lines 40 on the treadle and the driver rollers. Arranged directly above this line are the brushes 41 for the treadle, and 41 for the driver rollers. These brushes, as here shown. are grouped in pairs` each pair being located preferably centrally between adjacent rollers and elevated above them, and being oppositely disposed and extending laterally over the treadle, with their effective brush surfaces approximately in vertical alinement with the line 40, and sutliciently near each other to vigorously engage, from opposite sides, the spokes of an automobile wheel when the latter is positioned between them. Each of the brushes is here shown supported by a tubular standard 42 (Figure 3). and an inwardly extending angle member 42', which loosely telescopes into said tubular member and is adjustably held positioned thereon by the set screw 421 so that the brush may be adjusted to occupy different levels. :The brush proper. is preferably formed with an oval brush surface (see Figure 2) and made of sufficiently long bristles to enable them to be flexed to the extent of permitting the tire of the wheel to pass between the opposed brushes and still have the bristlcs engage the spokes of the wheel. The brush is further formed with socket 43, adapted to receive the free end of the mem-- ber 42 and having a set screw 43 whereby the brush, when adjusted to the desired angle, may be so held. Thus, the brush is adjustably mounted to change its position laterally and vertically with respect to the automobile wheel, at will and the angle at which the luushing sur ace contacts with the latter. lt is evident that the brushes are readily removable that they may be con` veniently and quickly replaced, and that the long treadles and the rows of brushes overhanging them, render my improved washer available for automobiles of different lengths, inasmuch as the position of the rear wheels or drivers of all makes of cars is constant when in position for washing.

The pipe 44 serves as an overflow to maintain a definite level of water, which is preferably on the level of the hubs of the wheels, but may be conveniently changed by telescoping a nipple into the top of the overow pipe, as indicated in dotted lines in Figure 1.

The pipe 45 represents a water supply inlet to be connected with a source of water supply. Figures 14 and 15 diagrammatically illustrate sprinkling apparatus which I use in connection with the above described washing apparatus for cleansing the underside'of the automobile, this apparatus comprising a plurality of spraying nozzles 46, having perforations arranged in circular formation to project upwardly and outwardly directed jets of water against the underside of the car, the nozzles'being arranged in rows (see Figure 15) and spaced to cause their jets to overlap, so that the entire underside of the car body will receive a thorough spraying to remove the clinging dirt particles. rlhese nozzles, as indicated in Figure 14, are located on the ground level near the inclined driveway 3, and are preferably connected in series, as by the pipes 47, each series having a shut olf valve 48.

In operation, the car is driven down the incline, the wheels B thereof entering the Haring ends of the guide ways 9. and being thereby positively directed to travel between the brushes. When the rear wheels of the car arrive at the rollers 12', the attendant operates the clutch lever 33, to hold said rollers against rotation and thereby afford a foothold or traction surface for the rear wheels to travel over the roller and assume the position indicated in Figure 2. The clutch is now released. and the motor of the car set in motion, thereby actuating the rollers 12 and 12, which in turn, by means of the chain connections. drive the endless treadles, and thus drive the front wheels of the car. As the brushes are wholly submerged (Figure 3) and are designed to cover approximately the full radius of the wheel, and are applied from opposite sides, the wheels are subjected to vigorous scrubbing under water, thus securing the benefit of the currents set up in the water around and adjacent to the wheel spokes, by the vigorous agitation imparted thereto by the rapidly rotating wheels and the endless treadles and driving rollers, thereby greatly facilitating the cleaning operation and securing better worn, inasmuch as the currents in direct commingling relation with the brushes force the dirt particles out of the crevices and sharp corners of the wheel. By having the guide ways, all danger of poor drivers hitting the brushes and injuring them is eliminated, and backing out of the tank is greatly facilitated, though it is to be understood that an inclined driveway similar to the one shown, may be employed in place of the end wall 2, in which case the under side of the car may be washed before entering the tank.

l claim:

1. An apparatus for washing automobiles, comprising a tank adapted to contain water for partially submerging the wheels of the automobile, submerged rotatable supports for' the rear driving wheels of the automobile, adapted to be rotated by said wheels when the mot-or is ruiming, submerged rotary supports for the. front wheels of the automobile, operative connections between said front and rear wheel supports for communicating rotary motion to tlr'e former when theilatter are actuated, inner and outer submerged brushes for brushing, respectively, the inner and outer sides of the wheels when the motor is running, and brake mechanism for holding, at will, said rotatable rear wheel supports to prevent rotation thereof, for the purpose set forth. An apparatus for washing automobiles, comprising a tank adapted to contain water for partly covering the wheels of the automobile, submerged means, including driving devices, for supporting the rear driving wheels of the automobile in a manner to hold the automobile against bodily movement and have said driving devices rendered effective when the driving wheels are actuated, submerged endless treadles for supporting the front wheels of the automobile, means for rendering said driving devices ineffective at will, submerged stationary brushing means above said treadles, said submerged means adapted to engage both sides of the wheels, and operative connections between said endless treadles and said driving devicesfor actuating the former. responsive to actuation of the latter.

3. An apparatus for washing automobiles, comprising a tank adapted to contain water for partially sulnnerging the wheels of an automobile, submerged means mounted in the bottoni of the tank for supporting the front and `rear wheels of the automobile in a manner to permit the wheels to be rotated under the motive power of the automobile, sulnnerged brushes for the front and rear wheels extending to the inner and outer reageer mobile to hold the automobile bodily stav tionary in a manner to permit the wheels thereof to be rotated, said means including means for communicating rotary motion from the rear wheels to the front wheels of the automobile, responsive to a rotary movement of the rear wheels, means for rendering, at will, said included means inoperative, submerged brushes extending to opposite sides ofthe wheels and frictionally engaging therewith to effect a cleaning operation when the automobile is actuated, and guideways on the floor of the tank for guiding the wheels of the automobile during its travel to cleaning position, to a position between the brushes.

5. An apparatus for washing automobiles, comprising a tank adapted to contain water for partially submerging the wheels of the automobile, submerged means for supporting the wheels of the automobile in a manner to permit the automobile wheels to be rotated by the motor without effecting bodily movement thereof, said means including means for communicating rotary motion to the front wheels of the automobile concurrently with a rotary movement of the rear wheels thereof, means for rendering said first named means inoperative, at will, and a plurality of submerged brushes mounted in a manner to brush against the inner and outer sides of the front and rear wheels to cleanse the latter during rotationv of the wheels, the brushes for the front wheels being arranged in rows longer than the diameter of said wheels to render the apparatus available for cleaning cars of. varying lengths, a plurality of submerged brushes extending against opposite sides of the wheels, and adjustment means for each of the brushes whereby the brush may be adjusted to occupy various vertical and lateral positions.

ln testimony whereof l aflix my signature.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3028988 *Mar 29, 1960Apr 10, 1962Maxwell H OwensRotary mower washer
US3037223 *Nov 16, 1955Jun 5, 1962George V LovseyApparatus for treating the finish of automobiles
US4917125 *Apr 3, 1989Apr 17, 1990Marking Designs Inc.Truck tire washing apparatus
US4979536 *Apr 12, 1990Dec 25, 1990Marking Designs Inc.Portable truck tire washing apparatus
US5860180 *Mar 3, 1995Jan 19, 1999Rudiger HeiseTire cleaning apparatus for wheelchairs
US6561201 *Apr 16, 2001May 13, 2003Midkiff David GVehicle tire and wheel washing apparatus
US6633150May 2, 2001Oct 14, 2003Personal Robotics, Inc.Apparatus and method for improving traction for a mobile robot
US6895978 *Aug 19, 2002May 24, 2005David G. MidkiffApparatus for washing vehicle tires and wheels
US7937793May 10, 2011William GilbertVehicle tire cleaning system
WO2000069694A1 *May 15, 2000Nov 23, 2000Wheelclean (International) Ltd.Wheel cleaning
WO2003099473A1 *May 23, 2003Dec 4, 2003Interclean Equipment, Inc.Rapid deployment vehicle wash platform
U.S. Classification15/53.4, 220/573, 15/DIG.200
International ClassificationB60S3/04
Cooperative ClassificationB60S3/042, Y10S15/02
European ClassificationB60S3/04B