US 2173525 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 19, 1939. R. H. WALLACE AUTOMOBILE FRAME Filed March 10, 1956 IN VEN TOR.
Patented Sept. 19, 1939 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE AUTOMOBILE FRAME Application March 10, 1936, Serial No. 68,025
This invention relates to new and useful improvements in motor vehicle frames and an important object of the invention is to provide a frame composed of several .composite units 5 lengthwise of the frame which are adapted to be secured together to form a complete frame in which the component parts are arranged to augment the joints between other parts thereof.
Another important object of the invention is to provide a construction for frames in which the units of one model may be interchanged with those of another model in order that standardization of certain units is made possible.
A further object of the invention is to provide a frame composed of relatively short units throughout the length of the frame so that economy of manufacture can be practiced in the saving of scrap losses in blanking operations, the use of smaller equipment in manufacturing the parts, and in the handling of the component parts during manufacture and assembly of the frame.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following description.
In the accompanying drawing forming a part of the description and wherein like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the several views:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the frame embodying the invention,
Figs. 2 to 7 inclusive illustrate various sections forming tubular side rails.
The side rail 20, instead of being made in the orthodox manner from a single side rail blank, is made up of a plurality of units; a front unit 2|, an intermediate one 22 and a rear unit 23. Each of these units is of hollow or box-section form and is preferably made up of a pair of channel sections 30, butt-welded or flash welded together with their flanges as at 3| in Fig. 3 and 3| and 32 in Fig. 1. The ends of the units of each side rail will have the same cross sectional area to be placed in longitudinal alignment and flash weld- 46 ed together making joints 36 extending transversely of the rail to form the component parts thereof into a substantially one-piece complete side rail. Certain of the units may be of heavier gauge than others, in which case, the heavier 50 gauge ends to be joined to lighter gauge units are reduced in thickness to conform thereto for flash welding.
If desired, before uniting the units to form the entire side rail, a pair of corresponding tubular 55 rail units 2! may be connected together with cross member-s prior to the units being flash welded as at 36 to complementary units. This of course, facilitates to a further degree, the ease or facility of handling and transporting the frame sub-assemblies prior to assembly into the 5 completed frame. Under this method, each pair of units 2| are connected in their proper spaced relationship by tubular cross members 31 adjacent the ends of the units to hold them in the exact relationship for subsequent flash welding to 10 its complementary pair of units 22 which are joined by a pair of tubular cross members 38, while the rear pair of units 23 are connected in the desired relationship by the pair of tubular cross members 39. While various forms and 15 types of cross members may be employed for connecting the respective pairs of rail units, the preferred form are tubular cross members which extend through both spaced vertical web portions or opposite walls, a unit to be secured with ciro cumferential welds thereto to thereby assist in rigidifying the tubular structure of such units.
If desired, the ends of the tubular cross members may be provided with spaced projections to extend through correspondingly shaped openings in 25 the outer walls of the rail units to assist in relieving the circumferential welds around the cross members from stresses especially during torsional strains set up in the frame. The two cross members 31 and the forward cross member 30 38 of the intermediate unit 22 have their midportions offset downwardly while the rear cross member 38 of the intermediate unit and the forward cross member 38 of the rear unit 23 are here shown bowed upwardly to facilitate clear- 5 ance for such parts of the automobile as the prope'ller drive shaft, although the curvature of the cross members maybe varied to meet different requirements.
As the preferred type of frame is here illus- 40 trated as being constructed from three independent units, middle and two ends, it will be apparent that the end units which take most of the running gear, may be interchangeably employed in the construction of frames having different types of middle units to adapt the sectional construction to bodies requiring different middle or center units 22, in which the transverse cross members may be of a different type and arrangement to build the middle unit into the requisite specifications while employing the end units 2! and 23 as standard parts of all frames due to the under rigging such as spring hangers, axles. wheels, motor supports etc. being more or less standard and readily attachable to the end units for the various models of one manufacturer's line of motor vehicles.
After the units of the two side rails have been flash welded together along the joints I, the adjacent cross members 31 and 38 as well as the rear cross members 38 and 39 may be connected in pairs by tubes 48 extending longitudinally of the frame and through its respective pair of cross members to be welded thereto for the purpose of further integrating the frame units and preventing detrimental strain in the frame from being concentrated at the Joints II.
While the foregoing constitutes the preferred types of construction, nevertheless it will be appreciated that the box sections for the respective units may be formed in many different ways, some of which are shown in Figs. 2 to 7 inclusive. In Fig. 2, each tubular rail section may be formed from a single blank folded and formed into tubular section with a single welded seam 4| extending lengthwise thereof. In Fig. 3 is shown a section of a tubular rail unit heretofore described and which contains two longitudinally extending flange welds 3|. In Fig. 4 is shown a cross section of the form of rail unit shown in Fig. 2. Fig. 5 shows a box section for each rail unit formed of two channel stampings 42 and 43, the latter forming a nest for the former and with the flanges of the section 42 extending inwardly of the channel 43 and engaging the same so that are welds 44may be laid at intervals in the joints between the two channels. In Fig. 6, the channel 42 is shown reversed in position with respect to the channel 43 so that the flanges of both elements extend in the same direction and are welded as at 45 either continuously or at intervals. Fig. 7 shows each tubular rail section formed of opposed channels with their edges meeting in a horizontal plane. as at 48 for flash welding together. In all of these modifications it will be noted that the rail unit is of tubular cross section and it will of course be understood that other cross sectional shapes than those illustrated herein may be employed, and if desired, the units may be united to form a complete rail with the welds of the various units arranged in different planes. For example, the rail units 2| may be of the type possessing the two longitudinal welds 32 arranged in a vertical plane while the mid-section 22 may have its welds 48 arranged horizontally or vice versa and the rear unit 23 may be formed as shown in Figs. 2 and 4, since the complementary ends of the unit are of the same cross sectional area. Additionally, the tubular intermediate sections 22 may be disposed in substantially the same vertical plane with the end sections or they may be bowed outwardly as shown in Fig. 1 to make a bellied frame to fit the body' contour of the vehicle. In certain types of vehicles, the cross members for the intermediate units may be dispensed with entirely or a different form of connecting structure employed depending upon the requirements demanded of the frame by the body construction and style. While the present invention has been illustrated and described with a pre-forming of parts to the requisite section prior to the welding of the units together to form each tubular side rail, it is to be considered within the scope of the invention to first weld the contoured blanks together in the flat for subsequent forming into the requisite section after which the meeting edges of the unitized blank may be welded together in any suitable manner to provide the tubular full length rail. Furthermore, in somesetups it may prove desirable to form any pair of units 2 I, 22 or 22 in pairs from a single blank so that each side rail has only one transverse joint 36, but this of course will result in a sacrifice of some of the savings effected by the preferred form as well as larger equipment and less facility in the handling of the larger component parts. Each side rail may also be formed of an intermediate unit of channel-shaped cross section while the two end units of the rail may be of closed or box section, the ends which meet the channel intermediate section being formed into channel section for flash welding the adjacent ends of the units together and in substantial longitudinal alignment.
It will be understood that various changes in the size, shape and relation of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.
1. A sectional automobile frame composed of a plurality of units, each having a pair of tubular side rail sections joined in spaced relation to each other by transversely extending tubular members adjacent their two ends, said units being arranged with adjacent ends of complementary tubular rail sections welded together to form an integrated frame having side rails continuously tubular from end to end, and a pair of tubular members extending lengthwise of the frame and joining each pair of tubular transverse members.
2. An automobile frame comprising a pair of side rails, each composed of sections united by a transverse joint, transverse cross members connecting the rails on each side of the joint and closely adjacent thereto, and means extending lengthwise of the frame separate from the rails and connecting adjacent transverse cross members together and extending transversely of said joint.
ROBERT H. WALLACE.