US 2734561 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 14, 1956 H. w. FUNKHOUSER 2,734,561
RESERVE FUEL SUPPLY DEVICE Filed April 4, 1952 INVENTOR HAYEZ? W FZ/NHHDz/SE/Z ATTORNEYS gency purposes,
the" first opening serving to advise the operatorthat his United States Patent fice 2,734,561 RESERVE FUEL surrnv :nEvlcE 'Hayes 'Funkliouser, Pipersville, Pa. Application April 4, .1952, Serial No. 280,605 a claims. (Cl. 15'8 3'6.'3)
Thislinve'nti'on' relates to a reserve fuel supply device, and-more particularly to a reserve fuel supply means for internal combustion engines such as the engines of automobiles.
In the driving of autombiles it is well known that the operator cannot depend too completely on the gasoline gauge to advise him when his fuel supply is getting low.
Moreover, many motor vehicle operators are careless in keeping themselves informed as to the quantity of fuel available in the tank and, accordingly, will occasionally run. out of fuel, frequently at a substantial distance from a service station. Under such conditions, it is necessary for the operator to leave his car wherever it happens to be, walk tothe nearest-service station, and carry back to the car by hand a suilicient quantity offuel to enable him to drive to a service station for an adequate fuel supply. It usually is necessary for the operator to borrow a can from the service station and-most service stations require .deposits on such' cans. Accordingly, it usually is extremely inconvenient to run out of fuel.
An important object of the present invention is ?to provide novel means associated with the fuel supply system of an internal combustion engine, and primarily the engine of a motor vehicle, to advise the driver :that his fuel supply is low while at the same time vmaintaining a reserve supply which is'available for drivingseveral miles, if necessary, to a service station in order to'fill the main tankof the vehicle.
-A further object is to provide such a device" which is flexible inits application to a fuel supply system' in that it may be embodied in the main fuel supply tank, or in the float chamber of the carburetor or as a reserve tank between" the fuel-pump and the carburetor, and which serves to advise the operator that his fuel supply is low while at the same time reserving a supply-of fuel 'to enable' a'driver to drive to a service'station' for more fuel, provided he drives at a moderate speed, and-wherein thedevice is'fully automatic in operation and requires no attention whatever on'the part of the operator.
A further object is to provide such a device which normally functions to supply fuel to an internal combustionengine in accordance with the maximum demands thereof; but which functions automatically to limit to a substantial extent the rate of flow of-fuel to'the'engine when the fuel supply has'been depleted to a' predetermined-point,-- but which functions after such point is rached'to provide a reservesupply of fuel which will enablethebpertaor to drive at a lower speed to a service station to repenish his fuel supply.
Afurther vobject is to provide such a device which functions to furnish'fuel at a relatively unlimited rate to an internal combustion engine through onefopening-and to provide a second opening supply of fuel flows, and to provide'in the devicemeans norlnallycovering the'second opening until such time'as .a supply of fuel through such opening-is needed for emerthe cuttingoff of the flow of fuel through through which a reserve 2,734,561 Patented Feb. 14, 1956 2 fuelsup'ply has been depleted to the emergency reserve point.
Other objects "and advantagesof the come apparent during the course of "the tion.
In the drawing I have shown several embodiments in the'inventien. In this showin M Fig. l is a diagrammatic side elevation showing a preferred arrangement of the reserve fuel supply means between the fuel pump and carburetor of a motor vehicle;
Fig.2 is a central vertical sectional view through 'the reserve fuel supply tank showing the form" of the invention illustrated in Fig. l;
Fig. 3 is a horizontal sectional View 6ft line 3 3 of Fig; l; v
Fig. 4 is an enlarged plan viewer the float device;
Fig. 5 is a somewhat enlarged detail sectional view on line 5 -5 of Fig. 2'; p
Fig. 6'i's a central vertical sectional view similar to Fig. 2 showing a modified forth of the invention;
Fig. 7 is an enlarged detail sectional view on line 7'-- '1 of Fig. 6;'-"a'nd v Fig. 8 is a diagrammatic showing of the embodiment of the invention in the neat chamber or aeaiburetqr.
The invention has been illustrated in Fig. l a'sjbeitlg arranged between the usual'tuel pum of an automobile and the carburetor thereof. "Referring to Fig. 1; numeral 10 desigr'l'ates a pipe leading from the main fuel suppl tank to su ly fuel to a conventional pump 11 having an outlet pipe 12 for supplying fuel to the reserve fuel supply tank 13' forming the principal ubject matter of the resent invention. Renarring teFig. 2, itjwill be noted that the tank 13 is provided with'a referably cylindrical'side wall 14, although it will be apparent that the tank may be of any desired cross sectional shape. The tank is provided with a preferably integralbot'toin 15 and is capped at its'up'p'er end s at T6. The outlet pip jiz from the" pump 11 is connected as at 17 to a pipe '18 extendingnpwardl throughthe tank'13 referably teja point adjacent the top thereof. The pi e '18 serves as the inlet pi e for the tank 13 and duringthe orth-a1 functioning of the pump, when an adequate fuel supply is available, the tank 13 ismainta'in'd substantially full, as indicated, for example, by the dotted line 19 in Fig. '2. The tank 13"is'pr'efe'rably provided with a cross member 20,'which n a'y beet inverted u shape in cross section, brazed or otherwise secured at its ends to 'the side walll l. The pipe 18 eXte'nd's'through thi's'c'rss' member, as shown inFigsl 2 and 3, to brace the pipe 18.
The'tank 13 is further provided with an outlet pipe 25 which also extends in a point adjacent the top of the tank. The upper end of the'pipe 25 is open'and forms one inlet o ening for the flow of fuel through'pi-p 25 and through "an out-let pipe 26 connected thereto beneath the tank and leading to the carburetor 27 shown diagrammatically in Fig: '1. The top of the pipe 25 may terrn'inate slightly below the level ofthe' pipe 18 ora't any other suitable point, and it will become apparent that upon a failure of the pump 11 td supply fuel to the tank 13, for example, when the main fuel tank becomes empty, fuelcan flow into the upper end of the pipe 25 only until the level of the fuel in the tank 13 drops to the level of the upper .end of "the" pipe 25. Thereafter, the fuel in the tank 1-3becomes'a reserve supply as further described below.
Referring to Figs. 2 and'4, the numeral 30 designates a; float arranged in the tank 13.- This float may be cireulan in form, as'shown in Fig. ,4, and is provided with a central opening 31' loosely surrounding the pipe 25 to slideeasiliy thereon while being guided thereby. To t-he'float 30 is secured a plurality of arms, each indicated invention will befollowing descripas a whole by the numeral 32, and these arms extend along and are soldered or otherwise secured to the float 30 as at 33. The upper ends of the arms 32, indicated by the numeral 34 in Fig. 2, project above the float 30 and are engageable against the bottom of the cap 16 to limit upward movement of the float when the tank 13 is full or substantially full.
Beneath the float 30, the portions 34' arms 32 are provided with serving as reach rods for fixing the float to and spacing it from a lower collar 35 slidable on the pipe 25. The collar 35 is freely slidabic on the pipe 25 and has its internal diameter made as small as possible while still permitting free sliding movement of the collar over the pipe 25. When the upper ends 34 of the rods 32 engage the cap 16 they act as stopmembers to limit upward movement of the float, as stated, and under such conditions the reach rods 34 position the collar 35 as shown in dotted lines in Fig. 2. The pipe 25 is provided with a relatively large opening 36 which lies centrally of the length of the collar 35 when the tank is full and the stop members 34 engage the cap 16. When the body of the fuel in the tank 13 drops, for example to the level indicated by the line 37, the float 30 will move downwardly, the collar 35 will engage the bottom of the tank, and the opening 36 will be fully uncovered, for reasons fully described be low; The pipe 25 also extends through the cross mem ber 20, as shown in Figs. 2 and 3, to be braced thereby.
The opening 36 necessarily is arranged slightly above the bottom of the reserve tank and this is preferable in order to prevent the flow into the pipe 25, under emergency conditions to be described, of any sediment which may collect in the tank 13. It will be apparent that the tank 13 serves as a sedimentation tank to collect any foreign matter in the bottom thereof. The bottom 15 is provided with any suitable means for drawing off such sediment from time to time and in the drawing a drain plug 38 is. shown for this purpose.
In Fig. 6 I have shown a modified form of the invention particularly adapted for use with marine and stationary engines. In this form of the invention the tank 13 and inlet means 18 may be identical with the form of the invention previously described. In place of thepipe 25, an outlet pipe 40 is provided and this pipe is open at the top to normally supply fuel to an outlet pipe 41 leading to the carburetor. In this form of the invention the float means is completely eliminated and the pipe 40 is provided near the bottom of the tank with a very small opening 42 to allow for the flow of fuel at a much reduced rate through pipe 41 to the carburetor when the level of the fuel in the tank 13 is not sufficiently high to supply fuel to the upper end of the pipe 40.
The form of the invention shown in Fig. 8 is a diagrammatic representation of an embodiment of the invention in a float chamber of the carburetor. Referring to Fig. 8, the tank embodying the invention will be in the form of an enlarged float chamber indicated by the numeral 45. In this case, the pipe will have its upper end terminating slightly beneath. the float and the latter will be guided in its movement by an arm 46 pivoted in the float chamber as at 47 and provided with a valve 48 to control the flow of fuel into the float chamber through an inlet pipe 49 leading from the fuel pump. The slight play between the collar and the pipe 25 will be sufiicient to take care of the very slight changes occurring in the angular positions of the float 3i) incident to the swinging of the arm 46 about the pivot 47, the arm 46 moving only slightly in the operation of the device.
Operation The device may be embodied in various ways in the fuel supply system of an automobile. For example, the tank 13 in Fig. 2 may be the main fuel tank, in which case the top of the tank will be provided with a conventional filling opening and the pipe 18 will be elimishould be reduced 4, nated. It is preferred, however, to use the device as a reserve supply means, for example between the fuel pump and the carburetor as shown in Fig. 1.
Assuming that the supply of fuel in the main tank is adequate, the pump 11 will supply fuel to the tank 13 through pipes 12 and 18 to maintain the tank 13 substantially full. The upper end of the pipe 18 preferably extends to a point near the top of the tank to minimize agitation of fuel in the tank'13 when the latter is full, thus preventing the stirring up of any sediment in the bottom of the tank. Fuel flows from the tank without restriction under normal conditions through the open upper end of the pipe 25, the float control valve (not shown) of the carburetor 27 controlling the flow of fuel into the carburetor exactly in accordance with conventional practice.
Assuming that the main tank becomes empty, the pump 11 can not longer supply fuel to the tank 13. Fuel will continue to be supplied to the carburetor in accordance with the demands of the engine only until the level of the fuel drops to the plane of the upper end of the pipe 25. Tht slight leakage of fuel inside the collar 35 and into the opening 36 will not be at a rate suflicient to satisfy normal demands of the engine and the float chamber of the carburetor soon will be empty and the engine will stop. This will serve notice on the operator that the main fuel tank is empty. He will then preferably turn off the ignition switch of the engine and wait for a minute or two during which period fuel will flow slowly through the inside of the collar 35, through opening 36 and pipe 26 until the float chamber of the carburetor is full. During this time, the level of the fuel in the tank 13 will drop and the float will move downwardly until the upper end of the sleeve 35 uncovers the opening 36. From this point on, fuel will be supplied to the carburetor in accordance with moderate demands of the engine, and the operator can then turn on the ignition key, step on the starter and thus start the vehicle engine in normal operation.
The quantity of fuel remaining in the tank 13 between the level of the fuel when the engine is re-started and the horizontal position of the opening 36 will serve as a reserve fuel supply to enable the driver to drive several miles, if necessary, to a service station to secure another supply of fuel in the main tank. The distance which can be driven depends on the miles per gallon consumption of the vehicle engine at the speed at which the vehicle is driven to the service station, and depends also on the capacity of the tank 13. Having secured an additional supply of fuel, the normal functioning of the pump 11 will again fill the tank 13 and the supply of fuel to the engine will continue uninterruptedly during the operation of the vehicle until such time as the main tank again becomes empty.
The tank 13 is sealed to the atmosphere. However, there will be no drop in atmospheric pressure in the tank 13 to tend to prevent flow of fuel to the carburetor when the main tank is empty, since air will flow from the supply line 10 through the pump 11 and pipe 12 to relieve any partial vacuum which might tend to occur in the tank 13.
While it is stated above that the opening 36 is of such size as to supply fuel to the carburetor, this opening to the point where it will not supply fuel at a suflicient rate to maintain a substantial engine speed. In the operation of the vehicle in driving it at a reduced speed to the service station, therefore, the volumetric demands of the engine will be supplied through the opening 36. In attaining normal driving speeds after having re-filled themain fuel tank, the volumetric demands of the engine will not quite be supplied through opening 36. Therefore air will be progressively drawn through the upper end of the pipe 25 as the tank is refilled by the pump 11 after leaving the service station, thus preventing the trapping of any air pressure in the tank 13. Thus the tank 13 is enabled to be re-filled from the device in ans-asset the main tank-afterthe supply of fuel in the latter has been replenished, 1
The form of the invention shown in Fig. 6 is particularly intended for use on stationary and marine engines operating under substantially uniform loads. It is not satisfactory for useon vehicles except through operation ofthe latter at relatively low speeds when the level of the fuel drops below-the upper end of the pipe 40. This is because of the limitedsize of -the opening 42 which will not supply the normal demands of amotor vehicle engine when the vehicle is traveling-uphill. The form of Fig. 6 is extremely simple, however, and is highly satisfactory for use on marine and stationary engines. When the main fuel tankis empty and the level of the fuel drops below the upper end of the pipe 40, the engine operated at its usual or normal speed will stop due to the insufiicient supply of fuel to the carburetor through the opening 42. However, the operator can await the re-filling of the float chamber, start the engine and operate it at a low speed until the main tank has been filled, the size of the opening 42 being suflicient for such operation of the engine.
The operation of the form of the invention shown in Fig. 8 will be obvious from the foregoing. As long as the auxiliary tank 45 has the fuel therein maintained at the normal level by operation of the float control valve 48 while the fuel is present in the main tank, the fuel will flow into the upper end of the pipe 25 and thence through the carburetor and into the engine. When the main tank becomes empty the usually effective slight opening of the valve 48 will be ineffective for replenishing the fuel in the tank 45 and from this point on, the operation of the device will be substantially identical with the device shown in Fig. 2. Fuel will flow at a reduced rate through the collar 35 into the opening 36 and after the engine has stopped and been re-started or its speed has been considerably reduced, it can be operated at a low speed with this rate of fuel supply for a minute or two, to allow the float 30 time to move downwardly to the extent necessary to uncover the opening 36. From then on, the engine may be operated at a more normal speed until a service station can be reached for the replenishing of the fuel supply.
The construction shown for the purposes of illustration embodies the invention in preferred forms, but it is intended that the disclosure be illustrative rather than definitive of the invention. The invention is defined in the claims.
1. A fuel supply device comprising a tank, an outlet pipe normally supplying fuel from the tank to a consuming device, means rendered operative by a drop in the level of the fuel in said tank below a predetermined point for restricting the flow of fuel to the consuming device, and means responsive to a predetermined further lowering of the level of the fuel in said tank after the flow of the fuel has been restricted for increasing the flow of fuel to the consuming device.
2. A fuel supply device comprising a fuel tank, an outlet pipe projecting upwardly in said tank to a point spaced a substantial distance from the bottom thereof, said pipe being open at its upper end for the unrestricted flow of fuel through said pipe while the level of the fuel is above the upper end of said pipe, means providing a restricted flow of fuel from said outlet pipe when the level of the fuel drops below the upper end of said pipe, and means operative by a further drop in the level of the fuel for predetermined distance below the upper end of va substantial distance tpipe,;-meanshauiug a normal position e ns a d m opening when thelevel of the fuel is at ileastashighasthe and means for uncovering level of the fuels.
said outlet pipe, ,said covering means in its normal position providingfor a restricted flow of fluid from said tank into said outlet pipe through said outlet opening.
4. A fuel supply device comprising a fuel'tank, an outlet pipe in said tank having an open upper end for the flow of fuel from said tank, said pipe projecting upwardly :a substantial distance from .the bottom of the tank, saidpipe having an outlet opening therethrongh at a point spaced below the upper end .of said 'pipe, a collar slidably surrounding said outlet pipe, and--a -float connected to said collar at such a distance thereabove that when the level of the fuel is above the upper end of said pipe said collar will cover said outlet opening, said float, when the level of the fuel drops to a predetermined extent, moving said collar downwardly to uncover said outlet opening, the sliding fit of said collar around said pipe providing for a restricted flow of fuel from said tank through said outlet opening and thence through said outlet pipe.
5. A device constructed in accordance with claim 4 wherein said tank is provided with a cap, and means movable with said float and engageable with said cap when the level of the liquid in said tank is above the upper end of said pipe to position said collar over said outlet opening.
6. In a fuel supply system for internal combustion engines, a fuel pump, means for supplying fuel to said pump,
upperend of said outlet pipe, said outlet opening by a drop in the a carburetor for the engine, a tank, a pipe leading from said pump to the interior of said tank and forming a supply means from said pump to said tank, an outlet pipe connected between said tank and the carburetor, said outlet pipe projecting upwardly into said tank to a point substantially above the bottom thereof, the upper end of said outlet pipe being open for the free flow of fuel thereinto as long as the level of the fuel is above the upper end of said outlet pipe, said outlet pipe having an outlet opening therein spaced a substantial distance below the upper end of .said outlet pipe, and control means restricting the flow of fuel from said tank into said outlet pipe through said opening when the level of the fuel in said tank is at least as high as the upper end of said outlet pipe, said control means being operative for uncovering said outlet opening by a drop in the level of the fuel below the upper end of said outlet pipe.
7. in a fuel supply system for internal combustion engines, a fuel pump, means for supplying fuel to said pump, a carburetor for the engine, a tank, a pipe leading from said pump to the interior of said tank and forming a supply means from said pump to said tank, an outlet pipe connected between said tank and the carburetor, said outlet pipe projecting upwardly into said tank to a point substantially above the bottom thereof, the upper end of said outlet pipe being open for the free flow of fuel thereinto as long as the level of the fuel is above the upper end of said outlet pipe, said outlet pipe having an outlet opening therein spaced a substantial distance below the upper end of said outlet pipe, a collar slidably surrounding said outlet pipe and normally occupying a position coverincreasing the rate of flow of fuel through said outlet ing said outlet opening when the level of the fuel is at least as high as the upper end of said outlet pipe, the fit of said collar around said outlet pipe providing restricted communication between the interior of said tank and the interior of said outlet pipe through said outlet opening, and a float connected to said collar and normally holding it in said normal position, said float being movable downwardly when the level of the fuel in said tank drops below the upper end of said outlet pipe to uncover said outlet opening.
8. A fuel supply device comprising a tank, a fuel inlet pipe projecting into said tank, a fuel outlet pipe projecting into said tank and terminating in an upper end spaced substantially from the top of said tank, the upper end of said outlet pipe being open, means affording restricted communication between the interior of said tank and the interior of said outlet pipe at a point substantially spaced below the upper end of such. pipe, a valve controlling the fiow of fuel into said tank through said inlet pipe, and a fioat connected to said valve and cooperating therewith to maintain a normal level of fuel in said tank above the upper end of said outlet pipe, said float being connected to said flow restricting means for moving a portion of the latter and renderingit ineffective for substantially restricting the flow of liquid from said tank into said outlet pipe when the level of fuel in said tank drops below a predetermined point upon a failure in the supply of fuel through said inlet pipe;
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