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Publication numberUS2709621 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 31, 1955
Filing dateSep 10, 1951
Priority dateSep 10, 1951
Publication numberUS 2709621 A, US 2709621A, US-A-2709621, US2709621 A, US2709621A
InventorsJohn W Votypka, Clifford E Hale
Original AssigneeDetroit Harvester Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible top header locking mechanism
US 2709621 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May L 1955 w, VOTYPKA ET AL 2,709,621

CONVERTIBLE TOP HEADER LOCKING MECHANISM Filed Sept. 10, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTORS JOHN w. VOTYPKA y LIFFORD 'E. HALE 1955 J, w, VOTYPKA ETAL 2,709,621

CONVERTIBLE TOP HEADER LOCKING MECHANISM Filed Sept. 10, 1951 2 Shee ts-Sheet 2 .INVENTOR-S JOH N W. VOTYPKA CUNVERTHBLE ror HEADER LOCKING MECHANISM John W. Votypka, Detroit, Mich, and Clifford E. Hale,

Denver, Colo., assignors to Detroit Harvester Company, Detroit, Mich a corporation of Michigan Application September 10, 1951, Serial No. 245,953

6 Claims. (61. 296-120) The present invention relates to header locking mechanism, and more particularly to mechanism for effecting a centering and locking action between the front header bar of a convertible top of a vehicle and the header bar at the top of the windshield.

The present invention is a continuation-in-part of our prior copending application, Serial No. 92,204 filed May 9, 1949, now abandoned.

It is an object of the present invention to provide lock ing mechanism of the character described capable of cornpressing rubber seals conventionally provided intermediate the top of the windshield header bars and withstanding considerable vibration.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide locking mechanism of the type described, pleasing in appearance so far as it is visible, and in which the operating handle is placed both for ready accessibility and in a position so that when the parts are in locking engagement, the handle is in alignment with the header bars, and preferably located in underlying relation to the top header bar.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide locking mechanism for convertible tops including elon gated lock actuators adapted to be in tension when the locking mechanism is moved toward locking position, in conjunction with an operating handle disposed to assume a position substantially parallel to the header bars when the locking mechanism is engaged, whereby the operating handle serves as infallible indication that the lock mechanism is in actual engagement.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide locking mechanism for convertible top structure comprising loclring levers adjacent the ends of the header bars, slotted pins associated with the levers, the slots in the pins and the levers being formed to provide an initial centering cam action in addition to a clamping action urging the header bars into engagement with each other.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide locking mechanism designed to provide relatively great mechanism advantage so that an operating handle may bring about a firm and secure locking engagement with a minimum of movement.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide locking mechanism of the character described in which manufacturing economy is realized through a minimum number of parts and through relatively great acceptable manufacturing tolerances.

Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds, especially when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure l is a fragmentary plan view partly in section, of the improved locking mechanism, taken substantially on the line 1i, Figure 3.

Figure 2 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the locking mechanism with parts broken away for clarity.

Figure 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view on the line 3-4:, Figure 1.

2,709,621 Patented May 31, 1955 ice Figure 4 is a fragmentary sectional view on the line 4-4, Figure 3.

Figure 5 is a fragmentary sectional view on the line 55, Figure 1.

Figure 6 is an enlarged plan view of a combined locking and actuating member employed in the mechanism.

Figure 7 is a rear elevational view of the member shown in Figure 6.

Figure 8 is a side elevation of the member shown in Figure 6.

Figure 9 is a fragmentary sectional view through a looking pin showing a centering camming arrangement between the pin and locking lever.

Figure 10 is a fragmentary sectional view on the line lit-10, Figure 9.

Figure 11 is a view similar to Figure 9 showing a modified construction of camming arrangement.

Referring now to the drawings, the invention is directed primarily to locking mechanism for securing a top header bar 10 of a convertible folding top to a windshield header bar 12, which as appears in Figure 3 extends longitudi nally across the front of the vehicle above the Windshield 14. In order to prevent the entrance of moisture into the interior of the vehicle when the top is in place, suitable sealing means are provided intermediate the top header bar and the windshield header bar. In Figure 3 this sealing means is illustrated in the form of a gasket 16 secured to an upstanding flange 18 extending along the rearward edge of the windshield header bar and engageable with a portion of the underourface of the top header bar It).

Several problems have to be successfully solved in order to produce a satisfactory lock between the windshield header bar and the top header bar. In the first place it is of course of first importance to provide means which will secure the top in positive manner against dislodgment due to vibration and air pressure due to forward velocity of the motor vehicle. Also, in order to insure an adequate seal between the two header bars it is essential that the top header bar be properly oriented with respect to the windshield header bar prior to completion of clamping movement urging the two bars together. Finally, it is of primary importance to provide a lock which is positive in operation and which includes visible indications showing whether the top is locked in open position. in the past serious accidents have occurred as a result of the convertible top becoming loose in use and blowing upwardly and rearwardly with considerable violence due to the very great air pressure resulting from rapid forward motion of the vehicle.

The top header bar comprises a pair of upstanding posts 20 located adjacent the ends of the windshield header bar, and an intermediate upstanding post 22. The top header bar It at the forward end of the convertible top, has corresponding openings 24 and 25 through which the upstanding posts 29 and 22 respectively extend. Each of the posts, as best seen in Figures 4 and 10, is provided with an inclined transversely extending slot 26 for a purpose to be later described.

Located within the interior of the top header bar 10 and adjacent each of the end openings 24- therein, is a camming and locking lever 22% which is pivoted for rocking movement about a vertical axis established by a pivot pin 39. The levers 28 are preferably in the form of bell crank levers each having a camming and locking arm 32 and an actuating arm 34. The camming and locking arm 32 is arranged to enter into the inclined slot 26 in the adjacent pin and for this purpose the outer end portion of the camming and locking arm 32 is preferably inclined in conformity to the inclination of the slot 26, and in addition, is preferably given a transverse camber as well illustrated in Figures 4 and 10.

Adjacent the center opening and within the hollow top header bar 10 is provided an actuating and locking device indicated generally by the reference numeral 36, the details of construction of which are best illustrated in Figures 68. As seen in these figures, the actuating and locking device 36 is of general U-shaped cross-section comprising a relatively short leg 33, a relatively longer leg 39, and a connecting web 49. A pivot pin is welded or otherwise permanently secured to the device for actuating the same and is provided with a reduced extension 44 having a pin receivn Y opening 46. In use, the pivot pin 42 passes through a bearing 48 which is located in an opening in the bottom wall of the top header bar 10, as seen in Figure 3. Secured to the reduced portion 44 is an actuating handle 5'43 which by means of a connecting pin 52 is directly connected to the device 36.

The relatively short leg 38 is otiset laterally to comprise an actuating lever arm 5?. and carries a pivot pin 54 rigidly secured thereto. The relatively longer leg 39, as best seen in Figure 6, includes a lateral extension 56 which constitutes a second actuating lever arm and carries a pivot pin 53. The outer end of the leg 39 constitutes the locking portion of the device and includes an inclined portion 60 shaped to cooperate with the inclined slot provided in the center locking pin 22.

The. specific mounting of the actuating device 36 is best illustrated in Figures 3 and 5. Located centrally of the top header bar is a supporting plate 61 which is riveted, welded, or otherwise secured to the upper surface of the bottom wall of the top header bar 10. The plate 6!. is provided with a central opening therethrough in which is received the collar 62 of the bearing 48. In order to prevent rotation of the bearing 43 in the plate 61, the plate is staked as indicated at 63 in Figure 5, and the projecting element formed thereby extends into a peripheral recess 64 formed in the bearing 48. Plate til also has a stop 6hr limiting rotation of device 36 in unlocking direction.

Means are provided interconnecting the camming and locking bell crank levers 32 and the actuating and lock ing device 315. As best seen in Figures 1 and 2, this means takes the form or an elongated link 65 having a flattened portion 66 pivotally connected to the pin 58 extending upwardly from the lever arm as. At its outer end the link 65 has a flattened portion 67 pivotally connected to a pivot pin 65 provided at the outer end or the actuating lever arm 34 of the bell crank lever 23. .l'n like manner, a second elongated link 70 is provided connecting the actuating lever arm of the other bell crank lever 23 to the pivot pin 54 extending upwardly from the actuating lever arm 52 of the device 36.

The arrangement is such that as the operating handle 50 is moved to locked position, thereby swinging the inclined locking portion so of the device 36 into engagement in the slot of the pin 22 at the center of the header bar, bell crank levers 28 are simultaneously rocked to cause their cumming and locking arms 32 to enter the inclined slots provided in the pins 2t).

One of the important features of the present inven tion is tnat the links 7%, the levers 2%, and the actuating device 36 are so related that as the bell crank levers 28 are swung toward and into locking position links 65 and 7% are in tension. Accordingly, since the material of the links 65 and '70 is not extensible, it is impossible to swing the handle to a position corresponding to fully locked position unless both of the levers 28 actually result in lock ng engagement with the corresponding pins. This is to be contrasted with an arrangement in which the links 65 and 70 might be connected to operate in compression to efiect locking engagement. In such case, if the locking levers fail to engage in the slots in the pins, continued movement of the handle 5t would be permitted and would merely result in bowing the actuating links. However, in the present case, unless t the locking portions of the lever arms 28 actually enter into the slots in the pins so as to eifect a secure locking of: the top header bar, it is impossible to swing the tensile St) to locked position.

It is further to be noted that when the locking levers 23 in locked position, the handle so extends gen orally parallel to the header bars. Since its connection to the actuating device 36 is through the bottom Wall of the top header bar, this means that the operating handle is in position directly beneath the top header bar. This is important for two reasons: in the first place, the free end of the operating handle 5t) in operating position is thus protected by its position beneath the top header bar so that it constitutes no hazard to the occupants of the vehicle in the case of an accident. in the second place when the top header bar is roughly in position overlying the windshield header bar, the fact that the handle Stl is in its illustrated position parallel to the header bars is a positive and reliable indication that the top header bar is securely retained in position by the locking means. As previously indicated, this safety feature of considerable importance since it avoids possibility of the occupants of the car moving the operating handle to a position in which the top header bar is normally locked, but Without in fact effecting positive locking thereof.

Reference was previously made to the function of the apparatus illustrated herein to properly center the top header bar relative to the windshield header bar prior to urging he two ader cars into tight engagement with each oti Mechanism for this purpose is best illustrated in Figures 9-11, to which reference is now made. In these figures one of the camming and locking levers Z8 is illustrated in detail in its association with the locking pin 3%. As seen in these figures it will be observed that the camming and locking arm 32 of the lever 23 has an end surface which is shaped to cooperate with the bottom wall or surface 82 of the groove 84- such that swinging movement of the lever 23 in a counterclockwise direction, as seen in Figure 9, will earn the top header bar longitudinally of itself if it is in misalignment with respect to the windshield header bar transversely of the vehicle.

Obviously, the lever shown in Figure 9 acts in conjunction with the corresponding lever at the opposite end of the header bar so that in the event of misalignment between the header bars transversely of the vehicle, one or the other will be effective to cam the top header bar into proper position. Moreover, it will be observed that the inclination of the bottom wall 82 of the slot and the post extends at an angle of roughly 45 degrees with respect to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle so that the levers are also effective to cam the top header bar longitudinally into its correct mating relation with the windshield header bar.

in the arrangement illustrated in Figure 9 it will be apparent that the camming action of the arm 32 against the bottom wall 82 of the slot is concentrated at the corner 86 thereof and that full camming of the header bar to proper registering position is not etfected until the lever arm reaches the position shown in Figure 9.

In Figure ll there is illustrated a modified arrangement in which the bottom wall of the slot in the post 2%) includes a camming portion 9d and a second portion 92 which is arcuate and concentric with the pivot axis of the vivot pin 39. In this case centering of the top header tar is accomplished when the corner 94 of the camning and locking arm 32 reaches the junction between the surfaces and 92. Thereafter, further rocking motion of the lever 23 to the fully locked position illustrated results in downward clamping of the top header bar against the upper surface of the bottom header bar (or more specifically, against the sealing member 16). In order words, a sequential action results from the operation of the lever arm illustrated in Figure ll. During the initial enthe gagement between the camming and locking arm and the surface 90, a camming action takes place which results in centering and properly locating the top header bar with reference to the windshield header bar. Thereafter, further rocking motion of the lever 28 results in downward motion of the top header bar into sealing engagement with the windshield header bar. Of course, some downward movement of the top header bar takes place during interengagement between the camming and locking arm 32 and the camming surface 90 of the slot, but the parts will be arranged such that final clamping engagemcnt between the top and windshield header bars is not effected untii after completion of the camming of the top header bar into proper registration with the windshield header bar.

The drawings and the foregoing specification constitute a description of the improved header locking mechanism in such full, clear, concise and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the invention, the scope of which is indicated by the appended claims.

What we claim as our invention is:

l. In a header for convertible tops, locking mechanism for fastening the header to the vehicle body, thereby to maintain the top in closed position comprising, a U- shaped combination locking and actuating member mounted centrally of said header for pivotal movement on an axis that is substantially vertical when the top is in closed position with the legs of the U overlying one another, a handle having a relatively long lever portion operably associated with said member and adapted for swinging movement in a substantially horizontal plane for moving said member between locked and unlocked positions, right and left bell cranks pivotally mounted in opposite sides of said header, one leg of said U-shaped member and one arm of each of said bell cranks being respectively adapted for engagement with posts on the vehicle body, a link connecting one leg of said U-shaped member with one of said bell cranks, a second link connecting the other leg of said U-shaped member with the other bell crank whereby movement of said handle toward locking position simultaneously actuates said member and, through tension movement of said links, said bell cranks into locking engagement with said posts.

2. Mechanism as defined in claim 1 in which said posts are provided with inclined slots and said bell cranks have first arms connected to said links, and second arms constituting the portions entering said slots, the said second arms of said levers disposed to extend obliquely with respect to the length of said top header bar when in locking position, the bottom walls of said slots and the ends of said second arms being relatively inclined to center said top header bar on said windshield header bar.

3. Mechanism as defined in claim 2 in which the bottom walls of said slots and the ends of said second arms are shaped to complete centering of the top header bar prior to engagement thereof with said windshield header bar.

4, Mechanism as defined in claim 3 in which the bottom walls of said slots and the ends of said second arms include concentric surface portions eflective to retain said top header bar in centered relation during additional swinging movement of said levers following centering movement thereof.

5. Mechanism as defined in claim 1, in which each of said posts is provided with a slot and each of said bell cranks includes an edge portion engageable with the inner wall of the slot in the adjacent post, thereby to center said top header bar prior to final clamping against said windshield header bar.

6. Mechanism as defined in claim 5, in which the portions of said bell cranks entering said slots have a component of motion transversely of said top header bar, and include lateral surfaces engaging the bottoms of said slots with a camming action, thereby to center said top header bar longitudinally thereof with respect to said windshield header bar.

References Cited in the the of this patent UNETED STATES PATENTS 2,146,700 Peterson Feb. 7, i939 2,183,62l Peterson Dec. 19, 1939 2,560,459 Lundberg et al. July 10, 1951 2,570,260 Milhan Oct. 9, 1951

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2146700 *Jan 23, 1937Feb 7, 1939Chicago Forging & Mfg CompanyHood latch
US2183621 *Jan 23, 1937Dec 19, 1939 Hood latch
US2560459 *Sep 10, 1947Jul 10, 1951Briggs Mfg CoLocking mechanism for convertible tops
US2570260 *Feb 19, 1948Oct 9, 1951Jacobs Co F LLatch assembly for convertible automobile tops
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2831718 *Jan 11, 1955Apr 22, 1958Gen Motors CorpConvertible top header lock assembly
US2852292 *Mar 14, 1956Sep 16, 1958Ford Motor CoConvertible top power header lock
US2886364 *Sep 15, 1954May 12, 1959Gen Motors CorpConvertible top header lock assembly
US3082030 *Jul 18, 1960Mar 19, 1963Gen Motors CorpClosure latch
US4258945 *Oct 12, 1979Mar 31, 1981Aciers Et Outillage PeugeotLatch for a vehicle door
US4308704 *Dec 10, 1979Jan 5, 1982Lloyd Ralph ETrim molding
US4618180 *Sep 3, 1985Oct 21, 1986Muscat Peter PLatching mechanism for convertible top
US4664436 *Apr 10, 1985May 12, 1987Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche AktiengesellschaftLocking device for an automobile top
US5046767 *Dec 13, 1989Sep 10, 1991Jubbu Designer's Inc.Convertible top latching mechanism
US5328229 *Mar 5, 1993Jul 12, 1994Wilhelm Karmann GmbhClosing apparatus for a folding roof of convertibles
US5624149 *Mar 30, 1994Apr 29, 1997Asc IncorporatedApparatus and method for securing a convertible roof to an automotive vehicle
US5678881 *Jun 7, 1995Oct 21, 1997Asc IncorporatedApparatus and method for securing a convertible roof to an automotive vehicle
US5755467 *Jan 31, 1995May 26, 1998Asc IncorporatedLatching and switch operating system for a convertible roof
US5772275 *Sep 13, 1996Jun 30, 1998Asc IncorporatedApparatus and method for securing a convertible roof to an automobile vehicle
US6042174 *Aug 22, 1997Mar 28, 2000Asc IncorporatedLatching and control apparatus for an automotive vehicle convertible roof
US6155614 *Oct 28, 1998Dec 5, 2000Asc IncorporatedLatching system for an automotive vehicle convertible roof
US6290281May 26, 1999Sep 18, 2001Asc IncorporatedPower latch for an automotive vehicle convertible roof system
US7021696Nov 14, 2002Apr 4, 2006Asc IncorporatedConvertible top latch
US7063371Mar 12, 2004Jun 20, 2006Asc IncorporatedConvertible hardtop roof
US7226110Aug 16, 2005Jun 5, 2007Asc IncorporatedConvertible top latch
US7559585Aug 11, 2005Jul 14, 2009Wilhelm Karmann GmbhSupport frame for header latch assembly
DE1271566B *Jun 4, 1960Jun 27, 1968RenaultBefestigungsvorrichtung fuer abnehmbare Daecher fuer Kraftfahrzeuge, insbesondere Sportkraftwagen
EP2070752A1 *Nov 22, 2008Jun 17, 2009Wilhelm Karmann GmbHSoft top for a convertible vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification296/120.1, 292/DIG.500, 292/48
International ClassificationB60J7/185
Cooperative ClassificationY10S292/05, B60J7/1851
European ClassificationB60J7/185B