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Publication numberUS3143373 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 4, 1964
Filing dateDec 22, 1961
Priority dateDec 22, 1961
Publication numberUS 3143373 A, US 3143373A, US-A-3143373, US3143373 A, US3143373A
InventorsFordyce Maurice E
Original AssigneeFord Motor Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Drain tube assembly
US 3143373 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 1964 M. E. FORDYCE DRAIN TUBE ASSEMBLY Filed Dec. 22. 1961 INVENTOR K 5 B & 6 g

ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,143,373 DRAIN TUBE ASSEMBLY Maurice E. Fordyce, Farmington, Mich, assignor to Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Mich, a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 22, 1961, Ser. No. 161,482 8 Claims. (Cl. 296107) This invention relates to a drain tube assembly and more particularly to a drain tube adapted for installation between a collapsible top storage compartment and a floor pan member of a convertible automobile.

Most collapsible tops of convertible automotive vehicles are stored in folded condition in a storage compartment provide behind the rear seat of the vehicle. This storage compartment is generally in the form of a trough made of waterproof fabric material, the trough extending between the rear seat back and the forward edge of the rear deck structure of the vehicle body.

When the window in the collapsible top is open or the collapsible top is folded, it is possible for rain water to accumulate in this trough. It is current practice to install a drain tube to connect a drain opening in the trough with a drain opening in the floor pan directly below the trough to prevent such undesirable accumulation of water.

Presently, the installation of a drain tube requires the mounting of a funnel at a low point in the trough, the neck of the funnel projecting through an opening in the trough material. One end of a flexible hose is placed on the projecting neck while the other end is extended through a second opening in the floor pan of the vehicle. A clip, which is mounted at the second drain opening, receives the other end of the hose, thereby securing it firmly to prevent its withdrawal.

It can be readily seen that the current practice of installing a drain tube is cumbersome since the space between the storage compartment and the floor pan is relatively inacessible to the workmen installing the drain tube or to the garage mechanic serving the collapsible top of the vehicle.

The drain tube of this invention has been devised to provide a less expensive and more satisfactory means to connect drain openings in two members which are in a spaced relationship. The present invention embodies a drain tube having a body portion with a flange at each end which is larger than the drain openings in the two members. One flange is attached to the surface of one member at its drain opening and the second flange is compressible through the second drain opening in the other member. This second flange, upon it being projected through the second drain opening, expands its free dimension, thereby retaining the drain tube against withdrawal from the opening of the second member.

The advantage of the drain tube construction of this invention lies in its relatively inexpensive one-piece construction. Substantial savings are realized in the installation of this drain tube due to the relative ease of mounting and retaining the drain tube firmly between the drain openings in the two spaced members.

Other objects, advantages and features of this invention will become more apparent as this description proceeds in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view partially in section of the rear portion of the interior of a convertible automobile;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective View of the drain tube of this invention being installed between two members shown partially in section;

FIGURE 3 is a partial perspective view of the second flange attached to the lower portion of the drain tube ice being installed through a drain opening in a member; and,

FIGURE 4 is a sectional view taken through line 4-4 of FIGURE 2 of the drain tube after its installation is completed.

Referring to the drawings, in FIGURE 1 can be seen a motor vehicle having a collapsible top 11. The collapsible top 11 is supported by bow members 12 which permit the top 11 to be folded upon actuation of a mechanism (not shown) by the driver of the vehicle. When folded, the collapsible top 11 is stored in a storage compartment 13 which is located between the rear seat 14 and the vehicle body panel 15 above the floor pan 16 of the vehicle.

The storage compartment 13 is constructed in the form of a trough to provide for the nestling of the collapsible top 11 so that in its folded condition it is substantially flush with the upper body contour of the convertible vehicle body.

The storage compartment 13 for the collapsible top 11 is fabricated from a waterproof fabric such as a vinyl coated cotton material. This fabric has its one side fastened to the top edge of the rear seat 14 by a molding strip 17 while the other side is secured to the vehicle body panel 15 by a retainer strip 18.

Since water may accumulate in the trough, at least one drain tube, generally designated as 19, is provided between the storage compartment 13 and the floor pan 16 to permit the draining of the water to the outside of the vehicle body.

A first drain opening 21 is provided in the fabric material forming the storage compartment 13, and a second drain opening 22 is provided in the floor pan 16 in a spaced relationship from the first drain opening 21 as best seen in FIGURE 2.

The drain tube 19 has a ffexible body portion 23 which has an annular cross section. At each end of the body portion 23 are flanges 24 and 25 which are larger in diameter than the drain openings 21 and 22. The body portion 23 may be slightly smaller in diameter than the drain openins 21 and 22 to facilitate the installation of the body portion 23 through the drain openings 21 and 22.

As seen in FIGURE 3, the second flange 25 is constructed of a resilient material to permit it to be compressed and to be forced through the drain opening 22 in the floor pan 16. After the flange 25 is projected through the drain opening 22, it will expand to its original free dimension to prevent the withdrawal of the body portion 23 from the drain opening 22.

The underside of the first flange 24 is attached to the top surface of the fabric material of the storage compartment 13 to maintain the flange 24 nearly flush with the fabric surface. The flange 24 may be attached to the fabric by adhesives or by a dielectric bonding method or by any other known fastening means. To provide a good runoff of the water in the storage compartment 13, the first flange 24 may be provided with a sloped annular surface 26, see FIGURE 4.

A .375 inch diameter drain tube 19 manufactured from a clear vinyl having flanges 24 and 25 integrally formed with the body portion 23 has proven very satisfactory for installation in convertible automobiles. The vinyl material is of a sufi'icient resilency to permit the compres sion of the flange 25 when it is being extended through the drain opening 22. Also, the vinyl construction of the drain tube 19 allows the first flange 24 to be bonded by dielectric heating means to a vinyl coated fabric of the storage compartment 13 which is currently utilized in convertible automobile vehicle construction.

It will be understood that the invention is not to be 3 limited to the exact construction shown and described but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In combination, a first member and a second member in a spaced relationship, each of said members having a drain opening therein, and a drain tube extending between said members and connecting said openings, said drain tube comprising a body portion having a first flange at one end and a second flange at its other end, said first and second flanges being larger than the openings in said first and second members respectively, said first flange attached to the surface of said first member at the opening of the latter, said second flange being resilient for insertion through the opening of said second member from one side thereof, said second flange being engaged by the other side of said second member to retain said other end of the tube against withdrawal from the opening in said second member.

2. In combination, an upper member and a lower member in a vertical spaced relationship, each of said members having a drain opening therein, and a drain tube extending between said upper and lower members and through said drain openings, said drain tube comprising a body portion having a first flange at one end and a second flange at its other end, said first and second flanges being larger than the drain openings in said upper and lower members respectively, said first flange being attached to said upper member and said second flange being resilient for compression for insertion through the drain opening in said lower member from one side thereof, said second flange being engaged by the other side of tube against withdrawal from the opening in said lower member.

3. In combination, an upper member and a lower member in a vertical spaced relationship, said members having a drain opening therein, a drain tube extending between said upper and lower members and through said openings, said drain tube comprising a body por tion having a first flange at one end and a second flange at its other end, said first and second flanges being larger than the openings in said upper and lower members respectively, said first flange adhesively joined to said upper member and said second flange being resilient for compression in a radial direction for insertion through the opening in said lower member from one side thereof, said second flange being engaged by the other side of said lower member to retain the other end of said drain tube against withdrawal from the opening in said lower member.

4. In combination, an upper member having a top surface and a lower member in a vertical spaced relationship, said members having a drain opening therein, and a drain tube extending between said upper and lower members and through said openings, said drain tube comprising a body portion having a first flange at one end and a second flange at its other end, said first and second flanges being larger than the openings in said upper and lower members respectively, said first flange attached to the top surface of said upper member, said second flange being resilient for compression in a radial direction for insertion through the opening in said lower member, said second flange being engaged with the lower 4 surface of said lower member to retain said drain tube between said upper member and said lower member.

5. In a vehicle body having a collapsible top, a structural member, and a collapsible top storage compartment comprising a vinyl coated fabric material forming a receiving trough for said collapsible top, said trough being a spaced relationship above said structural member, said trough and structural member each having a drain opening therein, and a drain tube extending through the openings in said trough and said structural member, said drain tube comprising a flexible body portion having a first flangerat oneend and a second flange at its other end, said first and second flanges being larger than the openings in said trough and said structural member respectively, said first flange heat bonded to said vinyl coated fabric material, and said second flange being resilient for compression in a radial direction for insertion through the opening in said structural member from one side thereof, said second flange being engaged by the other side of said structural member to retainsaid other end of the drain tube against withdrawal from the opening in said structural member.

6. In a vehicle body having a collapsible top, a floor pan, and a collapsible top storage compartment comprising a vinyl coated fabric material forming a receiving trough for said collapsible top, said trough being in a spaced vertical relationship with said floor pan, said trough and said floor pan each having a aperture therein, and a drain tube extending through the apertures in said trough and said floor pan, said drain tube being manufactured out of a flexible, vinyl material, said drain tube comprising a body portion having a first flange at one end and a second flange at its other end, said first and second flanges being larger than the aperture in said trough and said floor pan respectively, said first flange being dielectrically bonded to the upper surface of said vinyl coated fabric material, and said second flange being resilient for compression in a radial direction for insertion through the aperture in said floor pan, said second flange being engaged by the lower surface of said floor pan to retain said drain tube between said vinyl material and said floor pan.

7. The combination as described in claim 6 and which is further characterized in that said first flange has a relatively thin wall section to provide a substantially flush surface with the upper surface of said vinyl coated fabric material.

8. In combination, a first member and a second member in spaced relationship and each of which hasa drain opening therein, a drain tube extending through said drain openings, said drain tube having integral flange portions at each end thereof larger than said drain openings, at least one of said flange portions being resilient for compression in a radial direction for insertion through said drain openings, said flange portions being engaged with opposite surfaces of said members to retain said drain tube therebetween.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,453,305 Gleghorn May 1, 1923 2,211,113 Hall Aug. 13, 1940 2,305,053 Zimmerman Dec. 15, 1942 2,707,129 Orr Apr. 26, 1955 2,759,255 Prince Aug. 21, 1956

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1453305 *Jul 9, 1919May 1, 1923Cleghorn Charles AngusSelf-sealing petrol tank or other container
US2211113 *Jul 9, 1938Aug 13, 1940Tolco IncDisplay counter
US2305053 *Jun 28, 1940Dec 15, 1942Wingfoot CorpMethod of making safety tubes
US2707129 *Jul 25, 1952Apr 26, 1955Carbodies LtdCollapsible vehicle top or head with drainage gutter
US2759255 *Jan 17, 1955Aug 21, 1956Productive Inventions IncMethod of connecting a grommet to a support
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4944612 *Oct 3, 1989Jul 31, 1990Abstetar Michael JTruck bed liner
US5178435 *Feb 14, 1992Jan 12, 1993Grumman Aerospace CorporationDrain assembly for use on a vehicle
US5395152 *Jun 24, 1993Mar 7, 1995Wickes Manufacturing Co.Convertible sling fastener
US5417465 *May 13, 1993May 23, 1995Mercedes-Benz AgTop cover box for motor vehicles
US5509712 *Oct 5, 1994Apr 23, 1996Chrysler CorporationConvertible vehicle topwell assembly
US5527081 *Mar 24, 1995Jun 18, 1996Chrysler CorporationConvertible vehicle topwell drainage arrangement
US5673956 *Aug 15, 1995Oct 7, 1997Penda CorporationBedliner with floor hole engagement
US5725272 *Jun 27, 1996Mar 10, 1998Sika CorporationDrain assembly for acoustic baffle system
US6082809 *Oct 20, 1998Jul 4, 2000Ingersoll-Rand CompanyEnclosure for a portable machine
US6145909 *Feb 2, 1999Nov 14, 2000Asc IncorporatedAutomotive vehicle bootwell and drain trough apparatus
US6183030Jun 23, 1998Feb 6, 2001Ford Global Technologies, Inc.Convertible rear structure for a modular vehicle body
US6290279 *Jun 25, 1999Sep 18, 2001Collins & Aikman Product Corp.Insertable vehicle floor drain
US6361099 *Jun 25, 1999Mar 26, 2002Collins & Aikman Products CoVehicle floor covering with integral threaded drain tube and method of making same
US7464987Dec 15, 2005Dec 16, 2008Wilhelm Karmann GmbhWater management system for a retractable hard top
US7621373Dec 15, 2004Nov 24, 2009Sika Technology AgAcoustic drain
Classifications
U.S. Classification296/107.1, 296/39.1, 312/229, 296/208
International ClassificationB62D25/00, B62D25/24
Cooperative ClassificationB62D25/24
European ClassificationB62D25/24