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Publication numberUS20020036413 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/963,326
Publication dateMar 28, 2002
Filing dateSep 25, 2001
Priority dateJun 16, 1999
Also published asUS6729672, US20030193211
Publication number09963326, 963326, US 2002/0036413 A1, US 2002/036413 A1, US 20020036413 A1, US 20020036413A1, US 2002036413 A1, US 2002036413A1, US-A1-20020036413, US-A1-2002036413, US2002/0036413A1, US2002/036413A1, US20020036413 A1, US20020036413A1, US2002036413 A1, US2002036413A1
InventorsFrank Neubrand, Andreas Hasselgruber, Christian Holst
Original AssigneeNeubrand Frank G., Hasselgruber Andreas C., Christian Holst
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Retractable top trunk lid assembly
US 20020036413 A1
Abstract
A retractable hard top for a vehicle including a linkage and a top guide track for moving the hard top from a top up position to a stowed position. As the retractable hard top is moved between the top up and stowed positions, the trunk is raised by rearward movement of the trunk linkage in connection with a guide member. The guide member also provides a forward movement of the trunk linkage for closing the trunk lid.
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Claims(33)
What is claimed is:
1. A trunk lid and a vehicle having a retractable top, in combination comprising:
a right side linkage and a left side linkage connecting the trunk lid for opening and closing with respect to the vehicle; and
each linkage having a first link and a second link movably connected with respect to each other and to the vehicle, the first link being connected to the vehicle by a forward connector movable fore and aft, the first link being mounted to the vehicle by a guide member for facilitating the fore and aft movement of the forward connector, the second link being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle and the second link being pivotally connected to the first link for facilitating the movable connection of the links with respect to each other and to open and close the trunk lid in response to such movement of the first and second links.
2. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 1, wherein the guide member is defined as a track and the forward connector of the first link is defined as a hinge roller disposed in the track, allowing the movement of the first link in both the fore and aft directions.
3. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 1, wherein the guide member is defined as a guide link having a first end connected to the forward connector of the first link and a second end being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle, the guide link allowing the movement of the first link in both the fore and aft directions.
4. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 1, each linkage further comprising:
a trunk lid bracket affixed to the trunk lid, having first and second spaced apart pivotal connectors, the second link being connected to the second pivotal connector;
a central pivotal connector connecting the first and second links;
a rear pivotal connector connected to the first link; and
an adjusting link being connected to the first pivotal connector of the bracket and being connected to the rear pivotal connector of the first link, for adjusting the tilt of the trunk lid as the trunk lid is opened and closed.
5. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 1, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the first link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
6. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 1, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the second link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
7. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 1, each linkage further comprising a motor driving the linkage to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
8. A trunk lid and a vehicle having a retractable top, in combination comprising:
a right trunk lid bracket and a left trunk lid bracket affixed to the trunk lid, each having spaced apart first and second pivotal connectors;
a right side linkage and a left side linkage connecting the trunk lid for opening and closing with respect to the vehicle; and
each linkage having:
a first link pivotally connected to a guide link, the guide link being pivotally connected to the vehicle for movement in both a fore and aft direction, the first link having a central pivot connector and a rear pivotal connector;
a second link located generally rearward of the guide link, the second link being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle, the second link being connected to the central pivot connector of the first link and the second pivotal connector of the trunk lid bracket for facilitating the movable connection of the links with respect to each other and to open and close the trunk lid in response to such movement of the first and second links; and
an adjusting link connected to the first pivotal connector of the trunk lid bracket and connected to the rear pivotal connector of the first link, for adjusting the tilt of the trunk lid as the trunk lid is opened and closed.
9. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 8, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the first link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
10. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 8, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the second link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
11. The trunk lid and the vehicle having the retractable top in the combination of claim 8, each linkage further comprising a motor driving the linkage to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
12. A vehicle having a retractable top and a trunk lid having a right side linkage and a left side linkage connecting the trunk lid for opening and closing with respect to the vehicle, each linkage comprising:
a first link and a second link movably connected with respect to each other and to the vehicle, the first link being connected to the vehicle by a forward connector movable fore and aft, the first link being mounted to the vehicle by a guide member for facilitating the fore and aft movement of the forward connector, the second link being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle and the second link being pivotally connected to the first link for facilitating the movable connection of the links with respect to each other and to open and close the trunk lid in response to such movement of the first and second links.
13. The vehicle of claim 12, wherein the guide member is defined as a track and the forward connector of the first link is defined as a hinge roller disposed in the track, allowing the movement of the first link in both the fore and aft directions.
14. The vehicle of claim 12, wherein the guide member is defined as a guide link having a first end connected to the forward connector of the first link and a second end being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle, the guide link allowing the movement of the first link in both the fore and aft directions.
15. The vehicle of claim 12, each linkage further comprising:
a trunk lid bracket affixed to the trunk lid, having first and second spaced apart pivotal connectors, the second link being connected to the second pivotal connector;
a central pivotal connector connecting the first and second links;
a rear pivotal connector connected to the first link; and
an adjusting link being connected to the first pivotal connector of the bracket and being connected to the rear pivotal connector of the first link, for adjusting the tilt of the trunk lid as the trunk lid is opened and closed.
16. The vehicle of claim 12, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the first link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
17. The vehicle of claim 12, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the second link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
18. The vehicle of claim 12, each linkage further comprising a motor driving the linkage to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
19. A vehicle having a retractable top and a trunk lid having a right side linkage and a left side linkage connecting the trunk lid for opening and closing with respect to the vehicle, each linkage comprising:
a bracket affixed to the trunk lid having spaced apart first and second pivotal connectors;
a first link pivotally connected to a guide link, the guide link being pivotally connected to the vehicle for movement in both a fore and aft direction, the first link having a central pivot connector and a rear pivotal connector;
a second link located generally rearward of the guide link, the second link being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle, the second link being connected to the central pivot connector of the first link and the second pivotal connector of the trunk lid bracket for facilitating the movable connection of the links with respect to each other and to open and close the trunk lid in response to such movement of the first and second links; and
an adjusting link connected to the first pivotal connector of the trunk lid bracket and connected to the rear pivotal connector of the first link, for adjusting the tilt of the trunk lid as the trunk lid is opened and closed.
20. The vehicle of claim 19, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the first link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
21. The vehicle of claim 19, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the second link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
22. The vehicle of claim 19, each linkage further comprising a motor driving the linkage to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
23. A modular preassembled unit for installation in a vehicle comprising:
a retractable top;
a trunk lid;
a right side linkage and a left side linkage connecting the trunk lid for opening and closing with respect to the vehicle; and
each linkage having a first link and a second link movably connected with respect to each other and to the vehicle, the first link being connected to the vehicle by a forward connector movable fore and aft, the first link being mounted to the vehicle by a guide member for facilitating the fore and aft movement of the forward connector, the second link being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle and the second link being pivotally connected to the first link for facilitating the movable connection of the links with respect to each other and to open and close the trunk lid in response to such movement of the first and second links.
24. The modular preassembled unit of claim 23, wherein the guide member is defined as a track and the forward connector of the first link is defined as a hinge roller disposed in the track, allowing the movement of the first link in both the fore and aft directions.
25. The modular preassembled unit of claim 23, wherein the guide member is defined as a guide link having a first end connected to the forward connector of the first link and a second end being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle, the guide link allowing the movement of the first link in both the fore and aft directions.
26. The modular preassembled unit of claim 23, each linkage further comprising:
a trunk lid bracket affixed to the trunk lid, having first and second spaced apart pivotal connectors, the second link being connected to the second pivotal connector;
a central pivotal connector connecting the first and second links;
a rear pivotal connector connected to the first link; and
an adjusting link being connected to the first pivotal connector of the bracket and being connected to the rear pivotal connector of the first link, for adjusting the tilt of the trunk lid as the trunk lid is opened and closed.
27. The modular preassembled unit of claim 23, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the first link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
28. The modular preassembled unit of claim 23, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the second link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
29. The modular preassembled unit of claim 23, each linkage further comprising a motor driving the linkage to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
30. A modular preassembled unit for installation in a vehicle comprising:
a retractable top;
a trunk lid;
a right trunk lid bracket and a left trunk lid bracket affixed to the trunk lid, each having spaced apart first and second pivotal connectors;
a right side linkage and a left side linkage connecting the trunk lid for opening and closing with respect to the vehicle; and
each linkage having:
a first link pivotally connected to a guide link, the guide link being pivotally connected to the vehicle for movement in both a fore and aft direction, the first link having a central pivot connector and a rear pivotal connector;
a second link located generally rearward of the guide link, the second link being pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location with respect to the vehicle, the second link being connected to the central pivot connector of the first link and the second pivotal connector of the trunk lid bracket for facilitating the movable connection of the links with respect to each other and to open and close the trunk lid in response to such movement of the first and second links; and
an adjusting link connected to the first pivotal connector of the trunk lid bracket and connected to the rear pivotal connector of the first link, for adjusting the tilt of the trunk lid as the trunk lid is opened and closed.
31. The modular preassembled unit of claim 30, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the first link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
32. The modular preassembled unit of claim 30, each linkage further comprising a hydraulic cylinder connected to the vehicle and the second link to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
33. The modular preassembled unit of claim 30, each linkage further comprising a motor driving the linkage to open and close the trunk lid and to drive the first link between the fore and aft positions.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/766,381 filed Jan. 19, 2001, that is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 09/334,763 filed Jun. 16, 1999, now U.S. Pat. No. 6,217,104 issued Apr. 17, 2001.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] This invention relates to retractable hard top vehicle roofs and related vehicle components that facilitate roof retraction and extension.

BACKGROUND ART

[0003] Motor vehicles generally are provided with a rigid roof structure completely enclosing the top of the passenger compartment. In some instances a sunroof may be provided at an additional cost to provide some overhead ventilation, however, the size of the vehicle sunroofs is normally very limited. Vehicle roofs with sunroofs do not in any way approach the ventilation, openness and panoramic view that is available with a convertible roof.

[0004] Conventional convertibles have a soft top that is folded into a series of folds that are stretched over three or four convertible top bows when the top is in its extended, or up, position. Convertible soft tops are prone to problems including excessive noise and potential water leakage. Soft tops are also generally less durable than a hard top and may require replacement periodically during the life of the vehicle. Some of the difficulties with the soft top convertibles result from the fact that they are not particularly well suited to winter weather. Cold temperatures, ice and snow that are encountered in winter discourage consumers from selecting convertible style vehicles even though the consumers may want a convertible for summer driving. In winter, water leakage through the convertible roof can make driving unpleasant and cause water damage to the interior of the vehicle. A soft top can make a vehicle difficult to heat due to heat transfer through the convertible top unless it is lined and insulated. If a convertible top is lined and insulated, reduction in noise levels and better heat retention may be achieved but the top becomes more bulky and requires more space within the vehicle for stowage.

[0005] Retractable hard tops offer the advantages of a hard top roof and a convertible in that they provide a durable vehicle roof that is not prone to excessive noise levels or leakage and provides excellent durability. However, retractable hard tops generally require complex linkages and drive mechanisms. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,823,606, discloses a system in which the trunk is provided with a dual hinge mechanism to allow it to be opened in the conventional manner on a forward hinge and to be tipped about its rear edge on an auxiliary rear hinge. In addition, a relatively large storage compartment must be provided to permit the retractable hard top to be folded and then moved into its storage compartment. Depending upon the size of the roof and trunk area of the vehicle, it may be difficult or impossible to configure a retractable hard top according to prior art designs that would still leave sufficient space in the trunk for useful storage. In addition to providing space for storing the retractable hard top, if an automatic hard top is provided, there must be adequate clearance between the trunk lid, wheel housings, floor of the vehicle and belt line of the vehicle so that the hard top may be automatically retracted without interference from other vehicle elements.

[0006] Assembly of convertible tops and retractable hard tops has generally been accomplished by taking separate components including the top and its associated linkage and the tonneau and its associated linkage and assembling them to a partially constructed vehicle on an assembly line. Alternatively, convertibles have been manufactured by removing the roof structure of a conventional coupe, reinforcing the frame and then installing the convertible top and tonneau. In either method the trunk lid is assembled as part of the vehicle entirely separately from the top. Likewise, if a roll bar is provided it is entirely separate from the top and from the trunk lid prior to assembly to the vehicle. These assembly methods are inefficient and add operations to the final vehicle assembly process. Also, testing and adjustment of various systems relating to the operation of the trunk lid, tonneau and top are required post assembly to the vehicle including integration of electrical connections, hydraulic systems and mechanical linkages.

[0007] These and other problems and design objectives are addressed by the present invention as summarized below.

DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION

[0008] The advances embodied in the present invention may be applicable to retractable hard tops and soft convertible tops. The present invention includes improvements to the top in combination with a power tonneau cover, trunk lid, and rollbar. The invention also offers advantages relating to modular assembly techniques involving the retractable top, trunk, tonneau and rollbar.

[0009] According to another aspect of the invention, the retractable vehicle top system may be incorporated in a vehicle having a trunk lid that has a linkage that raises the trunk lid as it pivots to provide additional clearance for the retractable vehicle top system as it moves between the top up position and the stowed position. The retractable roof and trunk lid combination includes a roof formed in at least two sections that are pivotally connected to each other by a roof linkage to the vehicle body. A trunk lid is connected to both sides of the vehicle body by a right side and a left side linkage. Each linkage includes a first link and a second link movable connected with respect to each other and to the vehicle. The first link is connected to the vehicle by a forward connector movable fore and aft. This movement is facilitated by a guide member mounted to the vehicle and connected to the forward connector. The roof has a top up position wherein the roof covers the passenger compartment and a stowed position wherein the passenger compartment is uncovered. Two sections of the roof are adjoined in the top up position and are folded together in the stowed position. The trunk lid has a closed position in which the trunk lid covers the trunk and an open position in which access is provided to the trunk. The second link is pivotally connected to the vehicle at a fixed location and to the first link. The connection of these two links facilitates their movable connection with respect to each other, allowing the linkage to expand and the forward connector move rearward, as the trunk lid is opened. The linkage also retracts and the forward connector shifts forward as the trunk lid is closed. In the open position, the linkages provide trunk lid clearance for the roof as the roof is moved between the top up position and the stowed position.

[0010] The invention contemplates the use of a track or guiding link connected to the vehicle for facilitating the fore and aft movement of the forward connector.

[0011] A motor may be connected to the vehicle and trunk lid linkage or connected between two relatively movable parts of the trunk lid linkage. A separate motor may be provided for the retractable top and the trunk lid or both may be powered by a single motor.

[0012] The trunk lid assembly includes several novel features. The trunk lid assembly includes a trunk lid having a closed position and a raised position. Right and left arcuate support arms are affixed to right and left sides of the trunk lid on their back ends and have a roller on their front ends. Right and left tracks each have a forward end and a rearward end. The tracks are mounted on right and left sides of the vehicle. The tracks receive the rollers on the front ends of the support arms. Right and left trunk lid control arms are pivotally secured to right and left sides of the vehicle. Rollers are disposed in the forward ends of the tracks and the control arms are pivoted forward when the trunk lid is in the forward position. The rollers are disposed in the rearward ends of the tracks and the control arms are pivoted upwardly from their forward position when the trunk lid is in the raised position so that the whole trunk lid is raised upwardly as the trunk lid support arms are pivoted to move the trunk lid to the raised position. The trunk lid assembly may be operable by either a motor or by hydraulic cylinders. The motor or hydraulic cylinders may be connected to right and left sides of the vehicle and right and left trunk lid support arms. The hydraulic cylinders may also be connected to right and left trunk lid control arms and right and left trunk lid support arms to move the trunk lid between its closed and raised positions. Alternatively, the trunk lid assembly may include right and left hydraulic cylinders that are connected to right and left sides of the vehicle and the right and left trunk lid control arms to move the trunk between its raised and closed positions.

[0013] According to an exemplary aspect of the invention, the trunk lid may have right and left trunk lid brackets. Each bracket includes a pair of spaced apart pivotal connectors for connecting the linkages. An adjusting link, on each side, connects the first link to one of the pivotal connectors, and the second link is connected to the other. The adjusting link adjusts the tilt of the trunk lid as it is opened and closed.

[0014] According to another aspect of the invention, an outer tonneau cover may be secured to the trunk lid for sliding movement on the trunk lid toward and away from the inner tonneau cover that is attached to the retractable top and frame to open and close an opening defined by a front edge of the trunk lid and the rear edge of the inner tonneau cover.

[0015] According to another aspect of the invention, a retractable vehicle top, trunk lid and tonneau cover assembly may be provided in combination for a vehicle including many of the structural elements previously described with respect to each element separately. Likewise, a retractable vehicle top, rear quarter window, tonneau cover assembly may be provided as a system incorporating the structural elements previously described with respect to each of the components.

[0016] According to another aspect of the invention, a modular convertible top for a vehicle is disclosed in which a frame that is adapted to be secured to the vehicle is used to mount a retractable top and tonneau cover prior to assembly to the vehicle. The frame, retractable top and the inner tonneau cover are all installed in the vehicle simultaneously as a unit.

[0017] Another aspect of the modular convertible top concept, is to provide a trunk lid that is secured to the frame that is also installed in the vehicle simultaneously and as a unit with the frame, retractable top and inner tonneau cover.

[0018] The modular convertible top concept may also comprise a roll bar that is secured to the frame and installed with the other components simultaneously as a unit.

[0019] The invention also comprehends a method of assembling a convertible top and related components to a vehicle wherein the retractable top and related components are assembled to a frame prior to assembly to the vehicle and wherein the assembly is secured as a unit to the vehicle.

[0020] These and other aspects of the present invention will be better understood in view of the attached drawings and detailed description of several embodiments of the invention that follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0021]FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view showing the modular concept of the present invention wherein a retractable top, power tonneau, trunk lid and roll bar are assembled to each other and a frame including mounting brackets and installed as a unit simultaneously in a vehicle.

[0022]FIG. 2 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a vehicle having a trunk lid linkage made in accordance with the present invention in its fully raised position with the retractable top shown in phantom partially retracted.

[0023]FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a vehicle having a trunk lid linkage made in accordance with the present invention partially closed with retractable top shown in phantom fully stowed.

[0024]FIG. 4 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a vehicle having a trunk lid linkage made in accordance with the present invention closed over the retractable top shown in phantom in its fully retracted position.

[0025]FIG. 5 is a exploded perspective view of a trunk lid and linkage made in accordance with the present invention.

[0026]FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a vehicle having a trunk lid linkage with an alternative embodiment of the drive mechanism shown in its fully raised position with the retractable top shown in phantom partially retracted.

[0027]FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of a vehicle having a trunk lid made in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 6 showing the trunk lid partially closed and the retractable top shown in phantom in its fully retracted position.

[0028]FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of the trunk lid made in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 6 showing the trunk lid closed and the retractable top in its fully retracted position.

[0029]FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of the trunk lid and linkage made in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 6 showing a drive system interconnecting two parts of the linkage.

[0030]FIG. 10 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a vehicle and a trunk lid cover and linkage made in accordance with the present invention with an alternative embodiment of the drive mechanism shown in its fully raised position with the retractable top shown in phantom partially retracted.

[0031]FIG. 11 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a vehicle and a trunk lid embodiment of FIG. 10 in its partially closed position with the roof shown in phantom in its fully retracted position.

[0032]FIG. 12 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the vehicle and trunk lid cover according to the embodiment of FIG. 10 shown with the trunk lid closed over the retractable top in its fully retracted position.

[0033]FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view of the trunk lid and linkage made in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 10 showing a drive system interconnecting a part of the linkage to the vehicle or frame.

[0034]FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a trunk lid including a retractable outer tonneau cover formed as a part of the deck lid in conjunction with a moveable inner tonneau cover.

[0035]FIG. 15 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a vehicle and a trunk lid cover and linkage made in accordance with the present invention with an alternative embodiment of the linkage and drive mechanism shown in its fully raised position with the retractable top shown in phantom partially retracted.

[0036]FIG. 16 is a fragmentary side elevation view of a vehicle and a trunk lid embodiment of FIG. 15 in its partially closed position with the roof shown in phantom in its fully retracted position.

[0037]FIG. 17 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the vehicle and trunk lid cover according to the embodiment of FIG. 15 shown with the trunk lid closed over the retractable top in its fully retracted position.

[0038]FIG. 18 is an exploded perspective view of the trunk lid and linkage made in accordance with the embodiment of FIG. 15 showing a drive system interconnecting a part of the linkage to the vehicle or frame.

BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0039] Referring now to FIG. 1, a retractable top 10 for a vehicle 12 is shown as a modular construction including a frame 14, inner tonneau cover 16 and trunk lid 18 that are installed as a unit in the partially assembled vehicle 12. The frame 14 is secured to the retractable top 10, inner tonneau cover 16 and trunk lid 18 that will be more particularly described below. The trunk lid 18 includes an outer tonneau cover 20 that is assembled to the trunk lid 18 in a sliding relationship similar to the sliding mechanism used for power sunroofs. The front edge of the trunk lid 22 and a rear edge of the inner tonneau 24 define the space covered by the outer tonneau cover 20 when it is extended from the trunk lid 18. Main bracket 26 and right and left wheel housing brackets 28 and 30, respectively, are secured to or are formed as parts of other components of the vehicle such as the floor and wheel housings. Holes 32 are provided for fasteners to be received in for securing the modular assembly to the vehicle 12.

[0040] Referring now to FIGS. 2-5, the trunk lid assembly for a vehicle 12 and retractable top 10 is shown. Right and left sides of the trunk assembly are shown in FIG. 5 with the reference numerals for the left side of the vehicle being duplicated by the same reference numerals with a prime designation designating the corresponding parts on the right side of the vehicle. A description of the structure and operation of the trunk lid assembly will be made with reference to the left side with the understanding that the right side is a mirror image of the left side. The trunk lid 18 is connected to a first link. The first link may be an arcuate support arm 120 affixed to the trunk lid at a back end 122 of the arcuate support arm 120 as illustrated. The arcuate support arm 120 is connected to a guide member of the vehicle 12 by a forward connector. The forward connector may be defined as a hinge roller 124 received in a track 126 mounted to the vehicle 12. The hinge roller 124 is connected on the front end 128 of the arcuate support arms 120 for guided movement in fore and aft directions within the track 126. The track 126 includes a forward end 130 and a rearward end 132.

[0041] Referring to FIG. 2, the trunk lid is in its full open position and the hinge roller 124 is disposed in the rearward end 132 of the track 126. As shown in FIG. 3, with the trunk between its full opened and full closed position, the hinge roller 124 is located between the forward end 130 and the rearward end 132 of the track 126. As shown in FIG. 4, when the trunk is in its full closed position the hinge roller 124 is disposed near the forward end 130 of the track 126.

[0042] A second link, referred to as a control arm 134, is connected to the vehicle 12 by a pivot body connector 136 on its rearward end 138. A central pivot arm connector 140 interconnects the control arm 134 to the arcuate support arm 120 on the forward end 142 of the control arm 134. A drive 144 is shown schematically at the forward end of the track 130. The drive 144 may be a hydraulic cylinder, a motor driven screw or other linear drive motor that would be capable of driving the hinge roller 124 longitudinally in the track 126.

[0043] Referring now to FIGS. 6-9. An alternative embodiment of the trunk lid assembly as shown. Once again the trunk lid assembly includes mirror image right and left sides that are shown in FIG. 9 in corresponding reference numerals on the right side of the vehicle are provided with the same reference numerals as used for the left side but include a prime designation. For brevity, the same reference numerals have been provided to similar components of the trunk lid assembly that were used for FIGS. 2-5. The trunk lid assembly includes a trunk lid 18 for a vehicle 12 that is provided with a retractable top 10. The trunk lid is moved upwardly by means of the first link, or arcuate support arm 120, that is connected by hinge roller 124 to a track 126. The hinge roller 124 is a forward connector movable fore and aft within the track 126 in the position shown in FIG. 6, the full up position, FIG. 7, the partially closed position, and FIG. 8 the fully closed position. The track 126 is connected to the vehicle 12 and serves as a guide member for the hinge roller 124. A second link, or control arm 134, is connected to the vehicle by rear pivot body connector 136 and is connected to the arcuate support arm 120 by a central pivot arm connector 140.

[0044] In the embodiment of FIGS. 6-9, the drive mechanism shown is a hydraulic cylinder 150 connected between arcuate support arm 120 and control arm 134. The drive cylinder 150 is connected to an opening 152 on the control arm 134 and is connected to an opening 154 on arcuate support arm 120. The drive cylinder 150 contracts as the trunk lid is lifted and is expanded as the trunk lid is closed as shown in FIG. 8. An air spring 156 may be provided to assist lifting the trunk lid.

[0045] Referring now to FIGS. 10-13, another alternative embodiment of the trunk lid assembly is shown. Once again the trunk lid assembly includes mirror image right and left sides that are shown in FIG. 13 with corresponding reference numerals on the right side of the vehicle being provided with the same reference numeral as used for the left side but including a prime designation. For brevity, the same reference numerals have been provided to similar components of the trunk lid assembly as were used for FIGS. 2-5. The trunk lid assembly includes a trunk lid 18 for a vehicle 12 that is provided with a retractable top 10. The trunk lid is moved upwardly by means of the first link, or arcuate support arm 120, that is connected by hinge roller 124 to a track 126. The hinge roller 124 is a forward connector movable fore and aft within the track 126 in the position shown in FIG. 10, the full open position, FIG. 11, the partially closed position, and FIG. 12 the fully closed position. The track 126 is connected to the vehicle 12 and serves as a guide member for the hinge roller 124. A second link, or control arm 134, is connected to the vehicle or to the frame 14 in a modular construction by rear pivot body connector 136 and is connected to the arcuate support arm 120 by a central pivot arm connector 140.

[0046] In the embodiment of FIGS. 10-13, the drive mechanism is a drive cylinder 160 connected between the vehicle 12 and control arm 134. The drive cylinder 160 is connected to an opening 162 on the control arm 134 and is connected to an opening 164 on the vehicle 12. The drive cylinder 160 contracts as the trunk lid is lifted and is expanded as the trunk lid is closed, as shown in FIG. 12.

[0047] Referring now to FIG. 14, a trunk lid 18 is shown to include a rear tonneau cover 20 that is slidably received on tracks 172 and 172′. The outer tonneau cover 20 extends outwardly from the front edge 22 of the trunk lid 18 to expand the gap formed between the rear edge 24 of the inner tonneau cover 16 when it is in its horizontal position and the front edge 22 of the trunk lid 18. The outer tonneau cover is moved by a motor 174 and cables 176 on both sides of the trunk lid to move the outer tonneau 20 in the tracks 172 and 172′. The operation of the outer tonneau cover drive is similar in many respects to a sunroof drive wherein the outer tonneau slides and is lifted on links 178 when extended to be flush with the trunk lid 18.

[0048] Referring now to FIGS. 15-18, another alternative embodiment of the trunk lid assembly is shown. Once again the trunk lid assembly includes mirror image right and left sides that are shown in FIG. 18 with corresponding reference numerals on the right side of the vehicle being provided with the same reference numeral as used for the left side but including a prime designation. For brevity, the same reference numerals have been provided to similar components of the trunk lid assembly as were used for FIGS. 2-5. The trunk lid assembly includes a trunk lid 18 for a vehicle 12 that is provided with a retractable top 10. Right and left trunk lid brackets 202, 202′ are affixed to the trunk lid 18. A pair of spaced apart first and second pivotal connectors 204, 206 connect the trunk lid bracket 202 to the linkage. The trunk lid is moved upwardly by means of a first link 208 that is connected by a forward pivotal connector 210 to an end of a guide member. The guide member may be a guide link 212 pivotally connected to the vehicle 12 at another end, such that it is movable to both fore and aft positions.

[0049] Referring to FIG. 15, the trunk lid 18 is in its full open position and the guide link 212 is disposed rearward in the aft position. As shown in FIG. 16, with the trunk lid 18 between its full opened and full closed position, the guide link 212 is pivoted between the fore and aft positions. As shown in FIG. 17, when the trunk lid 18 is in its full closed position the guide link 212 is shifted forward to the fore position.

[0050] A second link 214 is connected to the vehicle 12 or to the frame 14 in a modular construction by rear pivot body connector 216. The second link 214 is also connected to the first link 208 by a central pivot arm connector 218 and to the second pivotal connector 206 of the trunk lid bracket 202. As the forward connector 210 of the first link 208 shifts fore and aft, the second link 214 lowers and raises the trunk lid 18. An adjusting link 220 is connected to the first pivotal connector 204 of the trunk lid bracket 202 and is pivotally connected to a rearward extension 222 of the first link 208. The adjusting link 220 adjusts the tilt of the trunk lid 18 as the trunk lid 18 is opened and closed. A rear portion of the trunk lid 18 follows a substantially linear path 224, wherein a forward portion of the trunk lid 18 follows an arcuate path 226, moving both forward and upward, then rearward and upward, as the trunk lid 18 is opened.

[0051] In the embodiment of FIGS. 15-18, the drive mechanism is a drive cylinder 228 connected between the vehicle 12 and the second link 214. The drive cylinder 228 is connected to an opening 230 on the second link 214 and is connected to the vehicle 12. The drive cylinder 228 contracts as the trunk lid 18 is lifted and is expanded as the trunk lid 18 is closed, as shown in FIG. 17. An air spring 234 may be provided to assist lifting the trunk lid 18.

[0052] While several embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it is not intended that these embodiments illustrate and describe all possible forms of the invention. Rather, the words used in the specification are words of description rather than limitation, and it is understood that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6857686Feb 6, 2003Feb 22, 2005Asc IncorporatedTwo-way opening decklid for a convertible roof vehicle
US6866327Feb 6, 2003Mar 15, 2005Asc IncorporatedTonneau panel mechanism
US6948762 *Oct 7, 2003Sep 27, 2005Open Air Systems GmbhStowage space cover of a convertible
US6962386 *Jun 12, 2004Nov 8, 2005Cts Fahrzeug-Dachsysteme GmbhRoof storage cover for a convertible vehicle
US7093884Aug 5, 2003Aug 22, 2006Asc IncorporatedBulkhead module for an automotive vehicle having a convertible roof
US7198318Mar 23, 2004Apr 3, 2007Asc IncorporatedRetractable roof structural system
US7896423Oct 20, 2008Mar 1, 2011Magna Car Top Systems GmbhRetractable hardtop with two-piece rear section and removable front roof panels
US8287029May 21, 2010Oct 16, 2012Magna Car Top Systems GmbhRetractable hardtop with rear pivot decklid and sections that separate and stack for storage
Classifications
U.S. Classification296/76, 296/107.08
International ClassificationB62D65/06
Cooperative ClassificationB60J7/202, B60J7/145, B62D65/06
European ClassificationB60J7/14G2, B60J7/20C, B62D65/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 17, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: CTS FAHRZEUG DACHSYSTEME GMBH, MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:NEUBRAND, FRANK G.;HASSELGRUBER, ANDREAS C.;HOLST, CHRISTIAN;REEL/FRAME:012364/0140;SIGNING DATES FROM 20011112 TO 20011206