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Publication numberUS2442425 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 1, 1948
Filing dateFeb 16, 1942
Priority dateFeb 16, 1942
Publication numberUS 2442425 A, US 2442425A, US-A-2442425, US2442425 A, US2442425A
InventorsMarcellus S Merrill, Lawrence W Alfred
Original AssigneeMarcellus S Merrill, Lawrence W Alfred
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Frame straightening apparatus for automobiles
US 2442425 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)







BY WHITEHEAD '& VOGL ATTORNEYS PER June 1', 1948. M, s RRILL ET AL 2,442,425


SIM 54 FIG. I3. FIG. l2.-




Fatented June 1, 1948 FRAME STRAIGHTENING APPARATUS FOR AUTOMOBILES Marcellus S. Merrill and Lawrence W. Alfred, Denver, Colo.

Application February 16, 1942, Serial No. 431,004

' 1 Claim.

1 This invention relates to apparatus for straightening frames of automobiles and like vehicles, and is an improvement on and 9. development from the apparatus disclosed in Patent No. 2,013,785, issued to Marcellus S. Merrill, September 10, 1935.

An object of the present invention is to provide, in a unitary apparatus and with a minimum number of constituent elements, frame-straightening apparatus operable t correct any deformadisassembling the vehicle, applying heat to the members to be straightened, or in any way changing the normal wheel-supported attitude of the vehicle. i

A further object of the invention is to provide improved apparatus of the character described, particularly designed to facilitate convenient'access to the elements of the vehicle to be worked upon and to portions of the apparatus beneath the vehicle when in position in the apparatus.

A further object of the invention is to provide improved apparatus of the character described, which is designed to receive and operate upon wide vehicle frames of the type now commonly m use.

A further object of the invention is to provide improved apparatus of the character described, adapted for the application, either separately or coincidently of longitudinal as well as transverse stresses to a vehicle frame.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved construction and arrangement of elements in apparatus of the character described, whereby certain movable elements are resiliently mounted to normally roll relative to their supporting elements in a manner which permits of positive, direct, supporting engagement between said members when pressures are applied to one thereof.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved construction of mounting for pressure-transmitting jaw elements designed for engagement against vehicle frames to be straightened.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved method for correcting bent, racked, distorted, deformed, twisted and sagged vehicle frames.

With these and other objects in view, as will more fully appear from the following specification and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, the invention comprises certain novel constructions, combinations and arrangements of parts as will now be described in this specifi- '1 cation and defined in the appended claim and as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only and not intended as a definition or limitation of the invention, in which like characters of reference indicate corresponding parts throughout and in which- Fig. 1 is a plan view of a preferred embodiment of our improved apparatus as assembled and positioned for practical use, certain elements of tion or displacement of a vehicle frame, without e assembly being b e w y to better disclose otherwise concealed construction, a typical vehicle frame being indicated by broken lines in operative-relation with the apparatus.

Fig. 2*is a side elevation .of.,the apparatus shown in Fig. 1.

Fig. 3'is a cross-section line 33 of Fig. 2.

Fig. 4 is a, cross-section taken on the indicated line 4 4 of Fig. 3.

taken on the indicated I Fig. 5 isacross-section taken on the indicated line 55 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 6 is a fragmentary-detail section, on an enlarged scale, taken on the indicated line 6-5 f F V Fig. 7 is a fragmentary, in section, of and at right angles to the showing of Fig. 6.

Fig. 8 is a cross-section taken on the indicated line 8-8 of Fig. 6. V

Fig. 9 is a cross-section line 9-9 of Fig. 7.

Fig. 10 is a plan view of the showing of Fig. '7.

Fig. 11 is a cross-section taken on the indicated line Il-ll of Fig. 8.

Fig. 12 is a fragmentary, detail elevation of a typicaLadjustable frame-engaging jaw assembly advantageously employed in the invention.

Fig. 13 is'a cross-section taken on the indicated line l3-l3 of Fig.12.

' Fig. 14 is a top plan view of the construction shown in Fig. 12.

Fig. 15 is a fragmentary, detail view, partly in section, of a frame-engaging jaw employable alternatively to that shown in Fig. 12.

Fig. 16 is 'a fragmentary, detail section taken on the indicated line l6-l6 of Fig. 1.

Fig. 1'? is a bottom view of the construction shown in Fig. 16.

' The elements constituting the improved apparatus are operatively associated with and carried by a rigid frame or base, suitably formed in any desired manner to present the essential characteristics and relationships; As shown in the drawings, the supporting frame or base includes taken on the indicated detail elevation, partly.

beneath each end of each girder 20, being illustrated as one convenient means' for securely mounting and positioning said girders.

Since central portions of the girders will be subjected, during operation of the apparatus, to

loads and stresses tending to deflect the girders out of normal position, some means should be provided for stifiening and reinforcing saidgirders intermediate their ends. a convenient'arrangement for such purpose being shown as comprising a relatively shorter and lighter I-beam 22 disposed longitudinally beneath the web of each girder 20, with the web of the beam 22 vertical and its top flange bearing beneath the web'of the corresponding girder 20, and a truss 23 connected between opposite ends of each girder 20 in engagement with the lower ends of struts 24 which bear at their upper ends against the slower flange of the beam 22. A turnbuckle 25 is preferably included in the truss 23, as is common practice. To minimize longitudinal racking of the girders 20 relative to their posts 2|, braces 26 may be positioned to engage between lower portions of said posts and inwardly intermediate portions of the associated girder 20.

The web posts 2| at each end of the base assembly are rigidly interconnected and heldin the desired spaced relation by 'means of beams 21, preferably of I-beam type, disposed with their web portions horizontal. Supplemental web posts 28 are fixed to rise from the ends of the girders 20 immediately above the posts 2|, and upper portions of said posts 28 are rigidly interconnected and held by means of I-beams 29 parallel with and in spaced relation above the beams 21. Intermediate portions of the girders 20 may be held against lateral displacement by means of trans verse braces or struts '30, spaced longitudinally of the assembly in such number and relationship as may be practicable and desirable, said'braces 30 bridging the spaces between girders 20 and being secured at their ends to inner flanges of the girders.

Each of the girders 20 supports a rack adapted to be engaged by the wheels of the vehicle, which is thereby supported on and above thebase. The racks each consist of a rear section 3|compris-' ing a relatively wide, flat, tread portion, horizontally disposed in longitudinal alignment-with and in spaced parallelism above the corresponding girder 20 and fixedly supported in the specified relation by engagement of its rear end with a bracket carried by the upper end of the adjacent post 28 and engagement of its forward end with the stirrup 32 fixed to and rising from the girder 20, and the tread section 3| is .stifiened and completed by an outer down-turned, marginal flange 33, and an inner, rupwardly turned .margin'al flange 34, which latter flange serves to retainthe vehicle wheels on the tread portion of tlrierack.v

The forward section 35. of the rackis. formed with atread portion and marginal flanges corre-, sponding with the like elements of thesectioniB I,

and is spaced some distance forwardly along the girder 20 from said section 3| and fixedly supported in longitudinal alignment with and in spaced parallelism above said girder by means of stirrups 32 fixedly rising from said girder to engage the tread portion of said section. The space between the rack sections 3| and 35 is normally bridged by means of a rack section 36 corresponding in cross-section with sections 3| .and 35 and removably cooperating with the inner ends of :said sections to complete the rack. The section .36 may be engaged with sections 3| and 35 in anysuitable or desired manner, a convenient arrangement being illustrated in Figs. 16 and 17 p: as'comprising a'bearing plate 31 offset somewhat beneath and extending outwardly from adjacent ends. of the sections 3| and 35 to receive and support end tread portions of the section 36, and clips :38 fixed to the under side of the tread of the section 36 in position to engage about and beneath the plate 37. With the arrangement shown and described, the section 36 may conveniently be removed laterally from between sections 3| and 35, and is conveniently replaced, the removable character of said section 36 facilitating use of the apparatus and permitting convenient accessbeneath a vehicle supported by the racks, and also accommodating adjustment of movable elements of the apparatus for use on and with vehicle frames wider than the space between the inner margins of the racks. Inclined arms, not shown, may extend at any suitable angle and in any suitable adjustable relation from rear ends of the rack section 3| to engagement with the floor or ground, so that a vehicle may be rolled ordriven over said arms to position on the rack assembly, the rack section 36 obviously being in place between the sections 3| and 35 during such operation. v

...A plurality of similar assemblies, in this instance three in number, are shiftably and adjustably associated with thebase for the purpose of engaging the frame to be straightened and holding .or applying pressure to selected points on such frame. Such assemblies are structurally and functionally substantially identical, hence a description of one should suifice for all. Each of the said assemblies includes a rigid member disposed transversely of, above, and in bridging relation between the girders 2D, and said rigid member is shown as preferably formed of a pair of channel bars 39v disposed with their webs ver tical and rigidly interconnected'by blocks 40 between theirs ends, :in spaced, parallel relation, with their flanges extending outwardly. The rigid member thus formed is mounted to move longitudinally-along the girders 20, and to itself be shifted longitudinally, transversely of said girders, through theagency of hangers, one of which is hereinafter specifically described. Each of the hangers comprises a yoke bar 4| adapted to bridge across and engage over the upper flanges of the channel bars 39, a pair of yoke arms #2 depending in diverging relation from each end of the bar 4| across the flange membersof each channel bar 39, an extension 43 on eachyoke arm 42 angularly related with its associated arm and vertically disposed to lie closely along and across the corresponding outer face of the vertical flanges of the girder 20, and an inwardly-turned lug M on the lower end of each extension beneathand in position to engage at times against the lower margins of said girder flanges. I

The yoke arm extensions! extend somewhat above the lower flanges of the channel bars 39.

and pivotally support, adjacent their junction with the yoke arms 42, rollers 45 disposed to bear against and roll along the upper margins of the flanges of the girder 2!), and a brace 45 rigidly connects the diverging yoke arms 42 immediately above the rollers 45 to stiiTen the assembly. The lower portions of the extensions 43 on the same side of the girder 29 are connected by means of a web 4'! which is formed with a centrallydisposed lug positioned to rise along the girder flange and engage between the channel bars 39. A relatively stiff, fiat spring member 48 is disposed between the channel bars 39 and is supported on and in bridging relation between the lugs of the webs 4! on opposite sides of the girder 20, said member 48 being thus positioned above and transversely across said girder. A suitable bracket is fixed to and depends from the mid portion of member 48 and supports a shaft transversely of and beneath the lower flanges of the channel bars 39, and rollers 49 are carried by opposite ends of said shaft in position to engage beneath and roll along said lower flanges of said channel bars. The spacing of the elements comprising the hanger, illustrated and above described, is such as to normally support the channel bars 39 on the rollers 49 in clearing relation with the flanges of the girder 29 and in clearing relation with the yoke bar 4| so that, a hanger assembly being provided where each channel bar unit crosses a girder 29, said channel bar unit may be freely moved longitudinally, and hence transversely of the base frame. Similarly, the lugs M extend beneath the girder flanges in clearing relation therewith, so that the hanger and its supported channel bar unit may be freely moved longitudinally along the girders while the load is supported by the rollers 45 engaging against upper margins of the girder flanges. When, for any reason, pressures are applied to the channel bar assembly tending to lift the unit away from the girders 29, the upper flanges of the channel bars engage the yoke bar 4|, while the lugs 44 are drawn into engagement with the lower margins of the girder flanges, thus limiting any separation between the girders and the channel bars. Conversely, any pressures applied to the channel bar unit tending to move said unit into engagement with the girders 29 is fully accommodated by the yieldable character of the member 48, said member deflecting in response to loads above normal so as to permit the lower flanges of the channel bar unit to engage directly against and be supported by upper margins of the girder flanges, the shaft and bracket supporting the rollers 49 thus being relieved of loads greater than the weight of the channel bar unit and associated elements.

The rigid, channel bar members of the shiftable assemblies above described are indicated in Figs. 1 and 2 at A, B and C. The members A and B are shown as of substantially the same length, which is considerably in excess of the span between the girders 29, and as being normally disposed across and for travel alon central portions of the girders 25, while the member C is shown as having a length only a little greater than is necessary to bridge the girders and as positioned adjacent the rear or loading end of the base frame.

Whatever be the relative length or disposition of the rigid members A, B and 0, each of said members is provided with laterally and vertically adjustable means for engaging elements of a vehicle frame to be straightened. In the arrangement shown, the adjustable means carried by members A. B and C is the same in each instance, and is shown as comprising a head block 50 arranged to bear upon and slide along upper flanges of the channel bars 39 of the rigid member and formed with centrally depending, spaced tongues 5| which engage between and project below the channel bars 39 to slidably position the block 50. The spacing between the tongues 5| is continued as an angular opening upwardly through the block 50 and serves as a slide bearing wherein a strut bar 52 is-reciprocably accommodate-d. Lateral openings in the side of the block 50 intersect the slide-bearing therein and are adapted to successively register with holes spaced longitudinally along the bar 52 being provided to receive a pin 53 whereby the altitudinal position of the bar 52 relative to block 50 may be selectively adjusted.

It is necessary at times that the block'50 be held against displacement longitudinally of its supporting channel bars 39 and a convenient arrangement for this purpose is found in thep'rovision of holes through the portions of the tongues 5| projecting below the channel bars 39 and wedges 54 adapted to seat in said holes and clampably engage the lower flanges of the bars 39. The upper end of the bar 52 is formed as a seat for interchangeable jaws adapted to directly engage the vehicle frame members, and the arrangement illustrated and hereinabove described is particularly advantageous in that it provides for convenient interchange of specific jaws without the use of tools, in that it permits reversal in the direction of jaw mounting, and in that it provides an adequate and positive bearing forthe jaw portions subjected to high pressures. As shown, the upper end of the bar 52 is tapered upwardly and slotted to form a pair of upstanding ears 55, each of which is provided with an arcuate notch 56 in its opposite narrow margins and immediately adjacent its upper end. The base of the slot between the ears 55 is formed with an upwardly-opening, centrally-disposed, angular recess 51, and the portion of the bar 52 on opposite sides of said recess 51 between the ears 55 is beveled outwardly and downwardly to provide bearing surfaces 58.

The jaw shown in Fig. 12 is of angular, offset type and includes an upstanding bearing web 59 in perpendicular relation with one end of a seat 60 formed with a'tongue extension 6| (Fig. 13) of a size to be received between the ears 55. The web 59 and seat 69 are suitably reinforced by means of flanges 62, one of which extends beneath the seat 60 to terminate in a bearing margin adapted to engage against one of the surfaces 58, and the tongue extension BI is formed with laterally-projecting, arcuate lugs (i3 on its free end disposed to engage in the arcuate notches 5B opposite to the surface 58 engaged by the flange 62. A lower forward portion of the margin of the tongue extension 6'! received between the cars 55 may be formed as a projecting lug 64 positioned and contoured to engage within and bear against one side margin of the angular notch 51 when the jaw is mounted between the ears 55, and a pin 65 engages through registering apertures in said ears 55 and the tongue extension 6| to hold the jaw against displacement from its seat, acci dentally or otherwise as, for example, by an upward pull in case of use of a hooked jaw to exert a downward pull as illustrated at Fig. 12 of said Patent No. 2,013,785.

With'the construction shown and described, it

is apparent that the scarcit bel madily'rcmwed from and replaced on its seat on. them iz'when the pin 13-5 is removednthe :s'ynnnetrlcal character of the seat portion on thepar 52 bemg provided to permit mounting'of the law its iweb #59 facing in either ofxtwo (directions. Pressures applied to the vertical face of ithe'webiilfl or :to the horizontal face of the seat .50 are transmitted through the jaw flange, arcuate lugs, and-lug G4 to the bearing surfaces ofithe jawseaL-and; there is hence no shear-effect nnthe 'piniaGfi. "The jaw shovmin r1 5 nresentsa rertical "or iupstanding'fla't'weh-fi'fi: formed withiamcuate ribs .57 :a'd iacent its lower marginfor engagement the arcuate notches 56 of the cars "55, and ran'flangc 68 perpendicular :to the web "66 for engagement between the ears 5.5,said flanges beingzextended below the ribs 61 and terminating in aafinger B contoured and positioned ':-for engagement with the angular recess '57 :of the jaw seat, :said Jfiange -58 being aperturedto receiveandposit'ion pin-E5 in the manner and forthe'purpose previously set forth.

The apparatus thus far :described may be utilized in aatvellxknown manner for the straightening of vehicle framemembers. iI h'e vehicle may be positioned on the supporting rack sections}! and 35, the rack section 5 36 memoved-andthe jaws carried by the strut bars 62 on the respective rigid members vA, B and G :elevated and moved :along their respective members to engagement with suitable points of the-vehicle frame, wherea'fter the head blocks 59 are wedged zagainsttravelrelative to their associated rigid members, and pressure is applied to move :oneor more of saidrigid members transversely 10f the girdersflflfor the application of corrective pressure to the vehicle frame. The rigid member C is'rprefierably held against travel transversely of the girdersqfifl by any suitable means as stops orrabutmen'ts projecting below the outer ends of its channelrbars 39 for engagement against the webs 4:7 iof its hangers, and the jaw carried bysai-d' member (3 is hence generally employed' to position and :hold the corresponding end of the vehicle frame against latera'l displacement. Thel-rigid-members A and B are provided with abutmcn'ts 7 i which fixedly depend from the opposite ends of said members and provide bearings ior one'errd 0f the jack T2 or other pressure means, engaging :between a selected abutment li'andr theaadziacent outer flange of a girder 120,".80'131132t extension of the jack 12 operates to urge-the associated. rigid member longitudinally and for the application of pressure, by a suitably positioned fair, to a selected pointon the vehicle frame.

While the apparatus thus-far described-isnovel in construction. and characterized byrfeaturesof practical advantage, the invention contemplates improvement in the normal technique offraine i straightening through theappl-i-cat-i'on -'of cor-rec- 'tiv-e influences which operate toreversethe factors which caused distortion of the-frame and thereby more perfectly rehabilitate the damaged structure. The improvement in method includes the coincident application of two forces to the frame member to be-straightened, which forces act at substantial rig-htangles to each other; The corrective forces are applied in such manner as to place the-damaged frame-member underlstress tending to return it t c-normal and to simultaneously pressure-urge the damaged s'twcturebacl: to its originalposition.

For the purpose above speoified rlgidzposts 13 are .sl-idably, and removable, associated with the opposite ends of the base frame, said posts being shown as of .I-beam type, each formed with an offset hook 74 on itslower and adapted to engage :over and hook against the inner flange of the end beam 21 .an'd'a clip 15 adapted to engage over the outer upper flange of the corresponding beam 29, whereby a post 13 may convenientl and removably be hooked to and in upstanding relation with the ends of the base frame. It is the function of one of the posts ?3 to serve as an anchor to which one end of the vehicle frame, or one portion of such end, may be secured by a suitable inextensible fastening such as a chain 16, while the other of said posts "13 serves as an abutment against which the pressure of a jack ll may react to apply tension to an inextensible connection, suchas a chain to, engaging about the movable element of said jack and connecting with that end portion of the vehicle frame which is remote from the fastening T6. In utilizing the arrangement above described, extension of the jack 11 is developed to apply a considerable longitudinal stress on the frame member or portion engaged between the connections 75 and i8, whereafter lateral pressure may be 'correctively applied to the damaged frame member through longitudinal dis placement of the properly-placed rigid member A or B, in the manner above set forth, the combined longitudinal stress and lateral pressure operating to urge the deformed frame into its original position and accomplishing the desired correction through a direct reversal of the forces and stresses which produced the deformation.

Forward ends of the rack sections 35 may adjoin suitable wheel-engageable extensions 19 which support wheel-aligning devices 89; it being generally desirable and frequently essential that the steerable wheels of the vehicle be realigned as an incident of or subsequent to straightenin of the vehicle frame. The wheel aligning devices 88 are illustrated conventionally, since in themselves they form no part of the instant invention.

While the improved apparatus and method have been described principall in connection with the application of lateral and longitudinal stresses in a horizontal .plane, it should be readily apparent that pressures and stresses may be correctively applied to Vehicle frames in other plane's and directions as may be necessary for rehabilitation of a frame assembly. For example, certain of the strut bars 52 may be connected by suitable jaws (such as illustrated at Ii -lg. 13 of said Patent 2,013,785) or otherwise, to hold vehicle frame portions against vertical displacement while a jack member is utilized for the application of Vertically-directed pressure to some other point of the frame, proper longitudinal stress being simultaneously imposed on the frame portion under correction in substantially the manner previously set forth. Additionally, the connection 16 may engage one corner of a frame while the connection 13 engages a diagonally opposite corner thereof, so that the longitudinal stress applied to the ,jack T! may act with a twisting or torsional eiTect, where such is indicated for frame .correc tion.

Since many changes, variations, modifications and adaptations in the specific form, construction, arrangement, and utilization of the apparatus shown and described may be employed without departing from the spirit of the invention we wish to be understood as being limited solely by the scope of the appended claim rather thanby any details of the illustrative showing and toregoing description.

We claim:

In apparatus of the character described, a rigid base frame including spaced, parallel, horizontally-disposed side members and posts supporting the ends of said side members, upper and lower, transverse, parallel members connecting between said posts and between corresponding ends of said side members, means for supporting a vehicle above said side members, a plurality of units independently shiftably longitudinally of said side members and each engageable with a vehicle frame for the application of transverse pressures thereto, and a rigid, upstanding post removably engageable with the transverse members at each end of said base frame and adjustable longitudinally of said transverse members for the application of tensile stresses to the vehicle frame members simultaneously with the application of transverse pressure thereto.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATESPATENTS Number Name Date 1,507,695 Tempelman Sept. 9, 1924 1,676,263 Hawkins July 10, 1928 1,773,187 a Johnson Aug. 19, 1930 1,785,923 Wade Dec. 23, 1930 1,794,840 Keyworth Aug. 3, 1931 1,822,325 Swayne Sept. 8, 1931 1,836,369 Friese Dec. 15, 193 1- 1,879,979 countryman Sept. 27, 1932' 1,889,187 Wochner Nov. 29, 1932 1,907,925 Wochner May 9, 1933 1,993,387 Smith Mar. 5, 1935 2,013,785 Merrill Sept. 10, 1935 v 2,059,972 Smith Nov. 3, 1936 1 2,069,249 Hunt Feb. 2, 1937 2,095,071 Loeb Oct. 5, 1937 2,140,686 Bennett Dec. 20, 1938 2,198,434 Fried Apr. 23, 1940 '5 2,227,476 Williams Jan. 7, 1941 2,244,934

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U.S. Classification72/389.6, 72/705
International ClassificationB21D1/14
Cooperative ClassificationY10S72/705, B21D1/14
European ClassificationB21D1/14