US 2508090 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 16, 1950 F. E. BEEMS ETAL 2,508,090
HOOD LATCH Filed Jan. 17, 1947 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 T P f I a! a I I! 43 37 Pl 2/ I z u v U E]..
2 as f. i W
F. E. seams w. aussza 1w. STEPHENSON INVENTORS.
" Patented May 16.1950
2,503,090 I noon ui'rcn Floyd E. Beems, Dearborn, Charles W. Bugbee,
Royal Oak, and Thomas W. Stephenson, Detroit, Mich., assignors to Ford Motor Company,
' Dearborn, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Application January 1'1, 1947, Serial No. 722,490
1 Claim. 1 This invention relates generally to motor vehicles and particularly to latching and locking mechanism for the hoods of motor vehicles.
The engine compartments of present-day automobiles are provided with rearwardly hinged hoods which are equipped with suitable latching and locking mechanism at the forward ends thereof to lock the hood in closed position. The latch is released by means of a control knob on the dash connected to the latch through a Bowden cable. One of the principal disadvantages of the conventional construction has been the amount of effort necessary to release the latch. With the parts of the latch held tightly together by spring pressure, the force required to release the latch ,has been so great that in some instances it has been necessary to provide a special handhoie upon the operating knob to enable it to be more firmly grasped by the driver. Frictional resistance of the mechanism also contributes to the stiffness of operation. It is accordingly a principal object of the present invention to provide a hood latch which may be released from the dash with a minimum of eflort and yet which is positive in operation and which cannot become inadvertently disengaged. In fact, the only force necessary to release the-latch is that required to move a pawl out of engagement with a ratchet member against a relatively moderate spring pressure. Ease of operation is also increased by the fact that the latch is so arranged that a, direct pull of the pawl by the Bowden cable is possible. Furthermore, the friction to be overcome is negligible, and only a slight movement of the pawl is required.
A further object of the invention is to provide a hood latch which is self-centering in operation to automatically center the hood transversely of the vehicle when the hood is closed. Another object is to provide an automatic adjustment which compensates for manufacturing variations and which eliminates the final adjustment of the striker previously required during assembly of the vehicle. In addition, the hood latch of the present invention requires a minimum of easily fabricated parts, thus reducing the cost thereof.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be made more apparent as this description proceeds, particularly when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a side elevation of an automobile,
partly broken away, and incorporating the hood latch of the present invention.
Figure 2 is a cross sectional-view taken substan- 2 ti'ally on the plane indicated by the line 2-2 of Figure 1, illustrating the hood latch in front elevation and in its locked position.
Figure 3 is a longitudinal cross sectional view taken substantially on the plane indicated by the line 2-2 of Figure 2.
Figure 4 is a transverse cross sectional view taken substantially on the plane indicated by the line 4-4 of Figure 3;-but illustrating the latch mechanism in released position.
Figure 5 is a fragmentary cross sectional view taken substantially on the plane indicated by the line 5-5 of Figure 2, illustrating the pawl mechanism.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings-the reference character I I indicates an automobile having a hood l2 covering the engine compartment and hinged at its rearward edge by hinges ii to the cowl ll of the vehicle body. The hood is adapted to be opened by lifting the forward edge thereof and swinging the hood upwardly.
At its forward end, the hood I2 is provided with a channel shaped cross brace I 6 extending between opposite sides of the hood and suitably welded or riveted thereto. Directly below the cross brace it of the hood in its closed position is a crossbar i'l forming a front structural member of the vehicle body and extending transversely between the front fenders thereof. The hood brace It carries a'pair of transversely spaced rubber stops l8 engageable with flats l9 formed on the crossbar H at opposite sides; These stops limit downward movement of the hood and provide a resilient support therefor.
A U-bolt or striker 2i is mounted upon the hood brace I! in alignment with the longitudinal center line of the hood. The legs of the U-bolt extend through apertures 22 in the brace and are secured thereto by nuts 23. Ears 24 are struck outwardly from the lower portions of the legs of the U-bolt and provide stops for a plate 26 which is slidably mounted upon the bolt. A pair of coil springs 21 are mounted upon the legs of the U-bolt between the nuts 23 and the plate 28 and serve to normally urge the plate downwardly into engagement with the ears 24.
The crossbar ll of the body is provided with an elongated opening 28 extending longitudinally of the vehicle directly beneath the U-bolt 2| carried by the hood and is of such size as to permit the U-bolt to pass therethrough as the hood is lowered. A bracket 29 is provided for supporting the latching mechanism beneath-the crossbar I1, and is arranged generally transversely of the veasoaoeo hicle. The bracket comprises a web I! at one side formed integrally with front and rear flanges l2 and a respectively, which flanges are formed with vertical slots ll forming clearance for the U-bolt 2i. Bent forwardly and rearwardly respectively from the upper edges of the front and rear flanges 32 and l! and extending generally horizontally are attaching flanges it and 31. These flanges are secured to the crossbar H by means of bolts 38 and nuts a. longitudinally extending slots 42 are formed in the attaching flanges I8 and 31 in alignment with the slots in the front and rear flanges of the bracket to provide clearance for the U-bolt. It will be noted that the slots are substantially in alignment with the elongated opening 28 formed in the crossbar, but that the opening in the crossbar is slightly larger to expose portions of the attaching flanges 3i and 31 through the opening. The spring urged plate 28 carried by the U-bolt thus seats upon the expoud edges of the attaching flanges 3i and 31, and in the closed osition of the hood is moved upwardly from the cars 24 formed upon the U-bolt to compress the coil springs 21. The shock of lowering the hood to its closed position is thus cushioned.
A pivot pin 43 extends between the front and rear flanges if and 33 of. the bracket 28 and pivotally supports a ratchet member M. The
ratchet member 44 is formed of two complementary halves 4t and 41 spot-welded together to form a unit. Each half of the ratchet member is provided with an outwardly extending boss 48 and the distance between the bosses ll of the two halves corresponds generally to the distance between the front and rear flanges of the bracket so as to provide bearing surfaces therebetween to guide the ratchet member for rotation in a transverse plane. A plurality of teeth 49 are formed along one edge of the ratchet member, and the latter is also formed with a locking slot Ii for receiving the lower portion of the U-bolt 2|. In the closed position of the hood the ratchet member takes the position shown in Figure 2 in which the locking slot BI is substantially horizontal and effectively prevents upward movement of the U-bolt. 0n the other hand, in its released position the ratchet member 44 is swung upwardly to the position shown in Figure 4 in which the locking slot BI is inclined upwardly and permits upward movement of ti 2 U-bolt and the hood. A torsion spring 52 encircles the pivot pin 43 and has extending end portions 53 and 54. The spring end 53 is seated in a notch 56 formed in the lower edge of the web ll of the bracket, while the spring end it extends through an aperture formed in one of the bosses 48 of the ratchet member. Torsion spring 52 is thus arranged to normally urge the ratchet member upwardly to its open or released position.
A second pivot pin 51 is mounted in the side portions of the front and rear flanges l2 and 33 of the bracket and supports a pawl 58. The pawl ll comprises a, one-piece stamping having side flanges It and 6|, a lower connecting web 62 and an actuating flange 63. The actuating flange 63 is apertured to receive one end of a Bowden cable 84 which extends through the engine compartment to the dash of the vehicle, and is connected to a suitable control knob (not shown) for actuation by the operator. It will be noted that with the latching mechanism arranged then swings inwardly toward the center line of 76 the vehicle at the front of the hood, exerts a direct pull upon the actuating flange ll of the pawl. A torsion spring ll encircles the pivot pin I! of the pawl and has end portions 8! and It seated respectively upon the front flange ll of the bracket and upon the side flange ti of the pawl to normally swing the pawl in a clockwise direction as viewed in Figures 2 and 4 and to move the web '2 into locking engagement with the teeth 40 formed upon the ratchet member 4. A pull upon the Bowden cable, of course, swings the pawl ll against the action of the torsion spring II to release the web from engagement with the teeth.
The operation of the device is now'apparent. Actuation of the dash control knob to pull the Bowden cable 84 swings the pawl it out of engagement with the teeth 4! upon the rachet member N and the coil springs 21 upon the U-bolt together with the torsion spring [2 upon the ratchet member,.move the hood I! upwardly, the ratchet member moving to the position shown in Figure 4. Inthis position the locking slot II in the ratchet member extends generally upwardly and the U-bolt is free from locking engagement therewith. To open the hood, it is then only necessary to release the usual safety lock ll conventionally provided at the forward edge of the hood and adapted to be manually operated at that point, after which the hood can be swung upward to open position. It will be noted that the torsion spring 6 automatically swings the pawl II to the position shown in Figure 4, ready for the closing of the hood.
Closing the hood automatically operates the latching mechanism to lock the hood in its lowermost position. As the hood is lowered the ubolt strikes theratchet member 44 and swings the latter in a clockwise direction from the position shown in Figure 4 to that shown in Figure 2. Simultaneously, the pawl ll indexed over the teeth 40 upon the ratchet member and seats in locking engagement with one of the teeth. By
.providing a plurality of teeth, it will be noted that regardless of manufacturing variations the hood will automatically lockin its lowermost position. This eliminates the assembly operation usually required with conventional type hood latches which required the vertical adjustment of the striker member to suit each individual job. This is not necessary with the present construction, although if desired for any reason, the U- bolt II can be adjusted vertically relative to the result being that the effort required by the driver to release the latch is negligible. The construction, however, does not sacrifice safety since the latch mechanism provides a positive lock which cannot become inadvertently released except by operation of the dash control knob.
A further advantage of the present construction resides in the fact that the U-bolt 2 i carried by the hoodtends to center itself with respect to the ratchet member 44 and thus centers the hood transversely with respect to the vehicle.
It will be understood that the invention is not the hood having an opening for the striker mem- 1 ber to pass through, a latch member comprising a U-shaped bracket having front and rear walls positioned beneath said body member and extending generally transversely of the vehicle in a vertical plane, an opening formed in said bracket aligned with the opening in said body member, a latch member pivotally disposed between said front and rear walls for swinging movement in a vertical plane and comprising a pair of complementary stampings secured together and having embossed portions engageable with the front and rear walls of said bracket to guide the swinging movement of said latch member, the remaining portions of said latch member being in juxtaposition one with the other, a series of teeth formed along one edge of said last-mentioned portions, a
U-shaped pawl member having an open and a cl end, said open end being pivotally mounted be een the front and rear walls of said bracket for swinging movement of said pawl member in a substantially vertical transverse plane, said closed end adapted to engage the teeth upon said latch member, an ear formed on said pawl member, a
Bowden wire secured to said ear, and means within said vehicle for operating said Bowden wire to pivotally release said pawl from the teeth on said latch member.
FLOYD E. BEEMS.
CHARLES W. BUGBEE.
THOMAS W. STEPHENSON.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,544,960 Watts July 7, 1925 2,223,620 Kiesewetter Dec. 3, 1940 2,243,803 Hill May 27, 1941 25 2,446,934 Krause Aug. 10, 1948