US 3382854 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 14, 1968 Y J. E. STEINER 3,382,854
VALVE LIFTER MEANS Filed Jan. 24, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR.
JAMES E. STEINER ATTORNEY y 4, 1968 J. E. STEINER 3,382,854
VALVE LIFTER MEANS Filed Jan. 24, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.
JAMES E. STEINER thud/AM ATTORNEY y 4, 1968 J. E. STEINER 3,382,854
VALVE LIFTER MEANS Filed Jan. 24, 1966 3 Sheets-Sheet :5
JAMES E. 'STEINER ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,382,854 VALVE LIFTER MEANS James E. Steiner, 427 N. Quentin, Wichita, Kans. 67208 Filed .Tan. 24, 1966, Ser. No. 522,508 9 Claims. (Cl. 123-90) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLUSURE This invention relates to valve lifters, and more particularly, to a speed responsive valve lifter. Still more specifically, this invention is drawn to a valve lifter connected between a rotating cam shaft and a pusher rod that is responsive to engine oil pressure to increase the normal axial movement of the pusher nod and the resultant lift of the valve member connected thereto. This invention particularly relates to valve lifters used in internal combustion engines whereby the lift of the valve members is variable and a function of the engine speed and oil pressure to provide for economical and efiicient operation of the engine. Also, this invention relates to a valve lifter structure including a cylindrical housing having an enlarged bore, a piston means slidably mounted within the bore for movement perpendicular to the axis of the housing, a pusher seat means mounted within the bore engageable with a pusher rod for the actuation of a valve memher, and linkage means interconnecting the pusher rod seat means and the piston means whereby the pusher rod is extended varying amounts in response to engine speed by fluid pressure supplied to the piston means.
Various types of valve lifters are known to the prior art which provide for self-adjusting operation to maintain Zero lash in the valve operating linkage. The prior art devices use a special mechanical linkage or hydraulic system to achieve the self-adjusting function; however, none of these devices teach the use of a speed responsive valve lifter to automatically vary the lift of the pusher rod and connected valve member for more efficient engine operation.
The invention, herein, provides a fi-ui-d controlled valve lifter mounted substantially the same as a conventional valve lifter in an internal combustion engine. This new and novel valve lifter is responsive to oil pressure resulting from the engine speed to control and vary the amount of opening or lift of the valve members mounted in the engine cylinders. This movement of the valve lifter results in a variable movement of a connected pusher rod and valve member whereby the valve member is open more during high speed operation for greater economy and efiicient engine performance.
In a preferred embodiment of my invention, a valve litter is provided for installation in an internal combustion engine between the lower end of a pusher rod and a rotating cam shaft. The valve lifter includes a valve casing slidably mounted within a stationary lifter housing which is a part of the engine block. The casing has a central bore open at one end and a pair of opposed cylindrical openings adjacent the lower end of the bore. A pair of piston means are slidably mounted within the bore and have laterally extended piston member-s mounted within the cylindrical openings. A valve seat means is slidably mounted within the bore for axial movement and interconnected to the piston means by a pair of linkage or lever arms. The upper end of the seat rneans has a semicircular groove adapted for contact with the lower end of the pusher rod. A ball bearing is rotatably mounted within the lower end of the casing and adapted for engagement with the cam shaft for axial movement of the valve lifter.
The conventional oil pump of the internal combustion engine supplies an oil fluid pressure which is variable according to engine speed. This variable oil pressure is conducted by supply line through the valve casing so as to be av'aliable to the cylinder openings and piston members.
On operating above a certain predetermined fluid pressure, the piston members are moved inwardly of the cylinder openings resulting in an upper axial movement of the valve seat means by said lever arms overcoming the force of the springs holding the valve members in the closed posit-ions. This movement is in addition to the normal axial movement caused by the rotating cam shaft thereby resulting in an additional movement of the pusher rod and a further opening of the valve member for greater operating efficiency at high engine speeds.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and novel valve lifter.
Another object of this invention is to provide a speed and oil pressure responsive valve lifter for achieving variable lift.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a valve lifter having a hydraulic adjusting structure to maintain zero lash in the valve structure for a quiet operation.
One other object of this invention is to provide a 'valve lifter having a seat means contacting a pusher rod, which is held in the closed position by a compression spring, piston means movable under fluid pressure, and a linkage means connecting said piston means and said seat means whereby the seat means is axially movable in one direction when the spring force on a pusher rod exceeds the fluid pressure and is movable in the opposite direction when the fluid pressure exceeds the spring force on the pusher rod.
It is another object of this invention to provide a valve lifter responsive to vehicle speed to progressively increase the lift of the valve members at high speeds to a predetermined maximum value thereby increasing the efficiency and horsepower output of the engine while maintaining a normal valve opening at idle and low speeds for maximum efiiciency.
Still one other object of this invention is to provide a valve lifter having the pusher rod connected to a hydraulically cushioned seat means thereby providing for quiet and shock absorbing operation.
Another object of this invention is to provide a speed responsive variable lift valve lifter of a simple rigid construction, that is economical to manufacture and having a simple method of operation thereby assuring substantially fail safe operation.
One other object of the invention is to provide a valve lifter having the lift of the valve member cont-rolled proportionally to the engine speed whereby the compression ratio and fuel mixtures can be held substantially constant throughout the variable speed ranges for better engine operation.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a valve lifter having the valve lift and duration time thereof proportionate to the engine speed whereby the engine compression is stabilized resulting in a minimum amount of gasoline required with a resultant eflicient burning of the air-gas mixture for highly eflicient operation.
Various other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following discussion, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
PEG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional automotive internal combustion engine having portions thereof broken away for clarity and illustrating a valve litter of this invention in combination therewith;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of a valve lifter assembly of this invention;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view of the valve lifter of this invention;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 55 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the valve lifter of this invention slidably mounted within a valve lifter housing and having the upper end of the valve lifter connected to a pusher rod and the lower end of the valve lifter in operable engagement with a rotatable cam shaft and illustrating the relative positions of the pusher rod, valve lifter, and cam shaft When the valve member is in a closed position;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the valve lifter of this invention similar to FIG. 6 illustrating the relative arrangement of parts when in a valve open position during low speed operation;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view of a valve lifter of this invention similar to FIG. 6 illustrating the relative arrangements of valve lifter parts after the valve member has been actuated from the opened to the closed position;
FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the valve lifter of this invention similar to FIG. 7 illustrating the valve in the opened position during high speed operation;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of the valve lifter of this invention; and
FIG. 11 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of another embodiment of the valve lifter of this invention.
The following is a discussion and description of pre ferred specific embodiments of the new valve lifter means of the invention, such being made with reference to the drawings whereupon the same reference numerals are used to indicate the same or similar parts and/or structure. It is to be understood that such discussion and description is not to unduly limit the scope of the invention.
Referring to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, a multi-cylinder internal combustion engine, indicated generally at 18, includes a main drive shaft powered by a plurality of piston and rod assemblies (not shown). The drive shaft 20 is connected by a chain 22 to a timing gear 23 secured to one end of an elongated cam shaft 25. The cam shaft 25 has a plurality of off-set cam portions 27 each of which is operably associated with a valve actuator assembly 28 adapted to sequentionally actuate either an intake or exh'ause valve member 30.
As shown in FIG. 2, the valve actuator assembly 28 includes a curved rocker arm 32 pivotally connected to a rigid shaft 33 secured to the engine block 35 and positioned adjacent the valve member 30. One end of the rocker arm 32 contacts the upper end of the valve member 30, and the rocker arm 32 is rotatable, clockwise as viewed in FIG. 2, to move the valve member 3% to an open position. It is seen that a compression spring 36 mounted about the stem 37 of the valve member 30 biases the same to a normally closed position. The other end of the rocker arm 32 contacts the upper end of an elongated pusher rod 38 having the lower end thereof in contact with a valve lifter 40 which is slidably mounted within a bore 41 in the engine block 3 5. A lower end portion of the valve lifter 40 rides in contact with the cam shaft 25 whereby the valve lifter 40 is axially movable by the off-set cam portion 27.
The valve lifter 41 which actually presents the novelty in this combination and will be described in detail, is supplied with oil through galleries 43 and an oil inlet 44 to the bore 41 in the engine block 35. An oil pump 46 is rotata-bly driven through a gear 47 and shaft 48 operably connected to the cam shaft 25 to supply oil through an oil filter 49 to the drive shaft 20, the galleries 43 for the valve lifters 40', etc. (FIG. 1). It is seen that the oil is supplied under a pressure that varies directly as the speed of the pump 46 which varies according to the speed of the engine 18 to provide an important operating feature of this invention as will become obvious.
As shown in FIG. 3, the valve lifter 40 of this invention includes a cylindrical valve housing or casing 51 having an enlarged bore 53 open at one end extended substantially two-thirds the length of the valve casing 51. A pair of diametrically opposed cylinder openings 54 and 55 extend transversely of the sidewall 56 of the casing 51 and are positioned adjacent an end wall 58 of the bore 53. The other end of the valve casing '51 has a hemispherical or domed-shape opening 60 opened outwardly thereof. An axially extended passageway 61 positioned centrally of the end wall 58 interconnects the bore 53 and the openings 60. The outer peripheral edge of the other end of the valve casing 51 is charnfered for ease of assembly. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 10, a ball bearing 63 is rotatably mounted within the dome-shape opening 60 and secured therein by a snap ring 65 connected within a groove 67 in the sidewall of the opening 6i). It is seen that the snap ring 65 restricts longitudinal movement of the ball bearing 63 while a lower portion of the bearing extends downwardly of the valve casing 51 for reasons to become obvious.
A pair of substantial identical piston means 69 and 71 are slidably mounted within the bore 53 for movement substantially perpendicular to the axes of the valve casing 51. The piston means 69 and 71 are of a substantially cordal cylindrical half-moon shape having outer curved surfaces 72 and 73 with laterally extended plunger or piston members 75 and 76, respectively, integral therewith. The piston members 75 and 76 are axially movable within the cylinder openings 54 and 55, respectively, in sealed contact with bushing members 78 which prevent oil pressure leakage into the bore 53. The lower surfaces of the piston means 69 and 71 engage the end wall 53 thereby assuring aligned axial movement of the piston members 75 and 76 within the cylindrical openings 54 and 55, respectively (FIG. 2). Additionally, it is noted in FIG. 5 that the curved surfaces 72 and 73 of the piston means 69 and 71, respectively, and the inner surface of the bore 53 are of a corresponding contour and the piston end walls 80 and 81 are in a spaced, parallel relationship when the piston means 69 and 71 are in the extended position.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 10, a cylindrical pusher rod seat means 83 is mounted in working engagement within the bore 53 for axial movement relative thereto. The upper end of the seat means 83 has a semi-spherical groove 84 adapted to receive the lower end of the pusher rod 38 therewithin. An oil passageway 86 extends axially and centrally of the seat means 83.
It is seen, therefore, that the piston means 69 and 71 are movable transversely of the bore 53, whereas the seat means 83 is movable axially thereof. A linkage or lever means 87 interconnects the piston means 69 and 71 and the seat means 83 for conjoint movement.
The linkage means 87 consist of a pair of parallel lever arms 89 and a link arm 90 pivotally connected at one end to the piston means 69 and 71, respectively, and at the opposite ends thereof to the seat means 83. As shown in FIG. 10, the lower ends of the lever arms 89 are extended within parallel spaced slots 91 in the piston means 69 and pivotally connected thereto on a pin member 93 extended within a hole 94 in the piston means 69 and a hole 96 in the lever arms 39. The link arm 90 is similarly mounted within a slot 98 in the piston means 71 and pivotally mounted on a pin member 99 extended through a hole 101 in the piston means 71 and a hole 103 in the link arm 90.
The upper ends of the lever arms 89 and the link arm 90 extend within a downwardly open, V-shape slot in the seat means 83 with the link arm 90 extended between the lever arms 89 in nesting relationship. A lock pin 107 extends transversely of the seat means 83 through a hole 163 and axially aligned holes 109 and 111 in the lever arms 89 and the link arm 90, respectively. It is seen, therefore, that the seat means 83 is positively interconnected to the piston means 69 and 71 whereby transverse movement of the piston means inwardly and outwardly of the sidewall 56 of the valve casing 51 results in upper and lower, respectively, movement of the valve seat means 83.
In the use and operation of the valve lifter 40 of this invention, only the operation of one valve actuator assembly 28 need be described as it is obvious that the multiple valve actuator assemblies 28 in the engine 18 would function similarly. As shown in FIG. 2, the valve lifter 40 is slidably mounted within the bore 41 in the engine block 35 having one end in contact with the pusher rod 38 and the ball bearing 63 at the other end riding in contact with the cam portion 27 of the cam shaft 25. The inner surface of the engine bore 41 has a cylindrical groove 113 open to the oil inlet 44 whereby oil is supplied to the valve lifter 40 to surround the outside of the valve casing 51 in operable engagement with the piston members 75 and 76. It is seen that the valve seat means 83 is axially movable singularly or in combination by (1) the axial movement of the entire valve lifter 46 on rotation of the cam shaft 25, and (2) on movement of the piston means 69 and 71 under oil pressure. This axial movement of the valve lifter 4% is always against the bias of the compression spring 36 mounted about the valve stem 37. Therefore, when the engine 18 is on the off or inactive position, the valve lifter 4t) assumes the position of FIG. 7 notwithstanding the rotational position of the cam shaft as there is no oil pressure against the piston members 75 and 76 to overcome the force of the compression spring 36.
On operation of the engine 18 in the low speed range as shown in FIGS. 6-8, the cam shaft 25 is rotating in the clockwise direction. On approaching the off-set cam portion 27 as shown in FIG. 6, the valve member 30 and interconnected pusher rod 38 is in the lowered or closed position under the force of the compression spring 36; however, the fluid pressure of the oil through the outlet 44 is greater than the force of the expanded compression spring 36. Therefore, the piston means 69 and 71 are moved inwardly so as to elevate the seat means 83 and both zero lash in the valve lifter and an oil fluid cushion in the contacting parts for quiet and ellicient operation.
The oil pressure developed by the oil pump 46 is substantially proportional to the engine speed whereby the low speed operation is considered in the range of zero to 48 miles per hour with the oil pressure increasing to a maximum or" thirty pounds.
On rotation of the cam shaft 25 to the valve open position of FIG. 7 in the low speed operation, the force of the compression spring 36 against the pusher rod 38 is greater than the oil pressure on the piston members '75 and 7 6 whereby the piston means 69 and 71 are fully separated. The seat means 83 secured to the linkage means 37, assumes a lowermost position relative to the valve casing 51 whereby the valve member 39 is opened only to the height of the cam portion 27 achieving the most efficient low speed operation. It is noted that the vertical movement of the seat means 83 relative to the valve casing 51 is accomplished by the gradual increase of the force of the compression spring 36 over the oil fluid pressure thereby presenting a shockless, oil cushioned, quiet movement.
On movement of the valve lifter 4t and interconnected valve member 30 from the open to the closed position shown in FIG. 8, the force of the progressively expanded compression spring 36, decrease below the force to the oil pressure whereby the piston means 69 and 71 move inwardly to the position identical to FIG. 6. The previously described relationship of force differential persists in this transfer with the oil pressure again providing a fluid cushion for smooth transfer and Zero lash within the valve lifter 40.
In the high speed operation of the engine 18 namely, above approximately 55 miles per hour, the oil pressure developed increases into a minimum value of approximately 35 pounds. During the valve closed positions in high speed operation as shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, the valve lifter 40 assumes the same relative position as in the low speed, valve closed operations because the oil pressure exceeds the expanded force of the compression spring 36 as previously described. The primary novelty of the valve lifter 40 lies in the valve open position of FIG. 9 during the high speed operation whereby the oil pressure (at least 35 pounds) exceeds the force of the compression spring 36 to move the piston means 69 and 71 inwardly. This movement is transferred by the lever means 87 and results in an additional vertical movement of the seat means 83, the pusher rod 38, and the valve member 30 is actuated to a maximum open position. It is seen, that this lift movement adds to the normal opening of the valve member 30 by the cam portion 27 of the cam shaft 25 for better intake and exhaust during the high speed operation.
This additional lift of the valve member 30 achieves a new and novel engine operation resulting in a more complete combustion, better exhaust, and requires less gasoline with more eflicient air-gas ratio mixtures. Additionally, the very high compression ratios required for high speed operation would not be necessary with the new and novel valve lifter 40 to achieve the present day horsepower requirements.
Intermediate the high and low speed operations, namely between 48 and 55 miles per hour, the oil pressure would gradually increase over the force of the compression spring 36 resulting in the valve member 36- being opened proportionately between the minimum and maximum open positions. This results in a smooth transfer with gradual efficient increase in the engine operation. It is obvious that the oil pressure could be controlled to a maximum value of perhaps 35 to 38 pounds by the use of a conventional valve check (ball and spring type valve) installed within the supply line of the oil outlet 44 to limit the maximum pressure on the valve lifter 40.
A second preferred embodiment of the valve lifter of this invention, indicated generally at 49a is shown in FIG. I I. This embodiment is substantially identical to the valve lifter 40 having the same valve casing 5 1, seat means 83, ball bearing 63, bushing members 78, and snap ring as previously described. The difference arises in the connection of the seat means 83 to piston means 6 9a and 71a by linkage or lever arms 116 and 1 17. The piston means 69a and 71a are mounted within the bore 53 with the piston members 75 and 76 extended within the cylinder openings '54 and 5d, respectively, in the casing 5 1. The lower end of the lever arm 1 16 is mounted Within a curved slot 118 in the piston means 69a. The lever arm 117 is similarly mounted within a curved slot in the piston means 71a. The lever arm 116 has a longitudinally extended slot .122 in the upper end thereof adapted to receive the upper tongue portion of the lever arm M7 in nesting or tongue and groove relationship. Adjacent upper ends of lever arms 116 and 117 are mounted within the V-sh-aped slot 10-5 in the seat means 8 3 as described in the first embodiment of this invention.
It is seen that the valve lifter 46a presents a compact, readily assembled package not requiring the use of high precision connecting pins and the like. The use and operation of the valve lifter 40a would be identical to that previously described for the valve lifter 4G and, therefore, need not be described. It is obvious that the compression spring 36 would exert a force through the pusher rod 38 to maintain the pinless valve lifter 40a in the assembled position.
As will be apparent from the foregoing description of the preferred embodiments of the applicants valve lifter means, relatively simple and inexpensive valve lifters have been described which are readily mountable in the conventional internal combustion engines now on the market. These valve lifters provide a new and novel structure and means of operation which provides greatly increased efliciency of operation. Applicants construction provides a quiet and zero backlash lifter assembly providing a minimum of wear on the contacting parts therefore providing a substantially maintenance free valve lifter.
While the invention has been described in connection with preferred specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that this invention is to illustrate and not to limit the scope of the invention which is defined by the following claims.
I1. In an internal combustion engine having a valve member normally held in the closed position by a resilient member, a valve lifter assembly having pusher means connected between said valve member and a valve lifter, said valve lifter movable within a bore in the engine block to actuate said pusher means and open said valve member, and a fluid supply means to supply speed responsive variable fluid pressure to said valve litter, the improvement of the combination comprising:
(a) a litter casing means having an opening at one end, the other end of said casing means ada ted to be contacted to result in movement of said casing means,
(b) piston means slidably mounted within said casing means,
(0) pusher seat means slidably mounted within said casing means for movement relative thereto, one end of said pusher seat means adapted to contact one end of said pusher means for movement thereof,
'(d) linkage means interconnected to said piston means and said pusher seat means whereby movement of said piston means results in movement of said pusher seat means, and
(e) said piston means operably connected to said fluid supply means to provide a fluid pressure to actuate said piston means to move said pusher seat means and said pusher means against the force of said resilient member to move said interconnected valve member to a greater lift position at higher engine speeds.
2. 'A valve lifter as described in claim 1, wherein:
(a) said piston means including a pair of semi-circular disc-shaped actuator members having laterally extended piston members,
(b) said casing means having a pair of cylinder openings, and
(c) said piston members slidably mounted Within said cylinder openings for axial movement relative thereto, said piston members operably connected to the fluid supply means whereby said piston means is movable on variation of the fluid pressure.
3. A valve lifter as described in claim 2, wherein:
(a) said linkage means having a pair of lever arms, first pin members pivotally connecting one end of said lever arms to respective ones of said actuator members, and a second pin member pivotally connecting the other end of said lever arms to said pusher seat means whereby movement of said piston members of said cylinder openings results in an upward axial movement of said pusher seat means and the contacting pusher means toward the fully open valve position.
4. A valve lifter as described in claim 3, wherein:
(a) said piston members extended outwardly of said cylinder openings during the valve open, low speed, operation as the force of said resilient member exceeds that of the fluid pressure from the fluid supply means whereby said valve member is actuated to the normally open position.
5. A valve lifter as described in claim 1, wherein:
(a) the fluid supply means maintains fluid pressure against said piston means to assure constant contact of said pusher seat means /with said pusher means thereby presenting a fluid dampener between parts for quiet operation, and whan the fluid pressure against said piston means exceeds the pressure of said resilient member and said pusher means against said pusher seat means, said piston means moves inwardly of said opening to move said pusher seat means axially relative said casing and said piston means 'for more efficient, quiet engine operation.
6. A valve lifter as described in claim 1, wherein:
(a) said pusher seat means movable axially to either a normally extended, a closed, or a fully extended position to control the lift of said valve member, and
(b) said piston means movable inwardly of said opening to raise said pusher seat means when the speed responsive fluid pressure against said piston means exceeds the force of said resilient member, and
(c) said piston means remains in a normal outwardly extended position relative said opening on upward movement of said casing means when the speed responsive fluid pressure against said piston means is below the force of said resilient member.
7. A valve lifter as described in claim 6, wherein:
(a) said pusher seat means held in an extended position by the fluid pressure during the valve closed during low and high speed operation for quiet engine operation.
'8. A valve lifter as described in claim 6, wherein:
(a) said pusher seat means held in the fully extended position under fluid pressure during the valve open, high speed operation for eflicient engine operation.
9. In a valve train having a member resiliently biasing a valve member, said valve member operably connected with a valve lifter, said valve lifter comprising (a) a casing means having an opening at one end, the
other end of said casing means adapted to be contacted to result in movement of said casing means,
(b) piston means slidably mounted within said casing,
(c) pusher seat means slidably mounted within said casing for axial movement relative thereto, one end of said pusher seat means adapted to contact one end of pusher means for movement thereof,
(d) linkage means interconnected to said piston means and said pusher seat means whereby movement of said piston means results in axial movement of said pusher seat means, and
(e) said piston means operably connectible to a variable fluid pressure supply means whereby a predetermined fluid pressure can actuate said piston means to move said pusher seat means and contacting pusher means axially against the force of the resilient member to move an interconnected valve member.
References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 1,210,081 1/1917 Sufla 12390 1,948,415 2/1934 Cooper 12390 2,326,883 8/1943 Pierce et al. 123-90 2,484,109 10/1949 Meinecke 12390 3,277,874 10/ 1966 Wagner 12390 AL LAVRENOE SMITH, Primary Examiner.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,382 ,854 May 14 1968 James E. Steiner e above identified It is certified that error appears in th d as patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby correcte shown below:
line 60, after "axial" insert inwardly Column 7 "whan" should read when Column 8, line 8,
Signed and sealed this 23rd day of September 1969.
Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.
Commissioner of Patents Attesting Qfficer