US 3384404 A
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4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 2.1, 1966 W1 1 III w IHHHHHH 7 FlllllL III IIT I mvfiw-rok/ d-r'roms y 1, 1968 R. E. SLATTERY 3,384,404
VEHICLE DOOR LATCH Filed April 21, 1966 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 W Hebert 5.61am
4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed April 21, 1966 qjhromosryf United States Patent 3,384,404 VEHICLE DGOR LATCH Robert E. Slattery, Rockford, 1th., assignor to L. W. Menzirner, trustee, Rockford, Ill. Filed Apr. 21, 1266, Ser. No. 544,178 4 Claims. (Cl. 292216) ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLGSURE A free-wheeling, sel -canceling and double preset latch for the door of an automobile includes a manually movable operating member which carries and pivotally mounts a transfer member normally positioned to couple the operating member to a pawl for releasing the latch. To lock the latch, the transfer member is pivoted relative to the operating member to a position uncoupling the latter with the pawl so that the operating member, upon being actuated, simply makes an idle motion with respect to the pawl. Unintentional keyless locking of the latch is prevented by a canceling lever which operates in response to closing of the door to swing the transfer member to the coupling position unless two distinct manual operations are performed in proper sequence to disable the action of the canceling lever and to permit keyless locking.
'a ratchet. In such a latch, the pawl is disengaged from the ratchet for release of the latch by a manually actuated member. The invention has special application to a latch which is locked by normally disengaging the pawl from the manually actuated member so the manual member makes only an idle motion when actuated.
The general object of this invention is to provide a new and improved vehicle latch of the above character which is self-canceling, that is, it is automatically reset in the unlocked condition as an incident to the closing of the door to prevent unintentional locking of the door.
A further object of this invention is to provide such a latch having an improved self-canceling mechanism which can be easily and simply disabled if keyless locking is desired.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is an elevation view, partially broken away, of a latch embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of a latch and a portion of the door.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the locking and transfer members.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevation view of the latch in the locked and latched condition.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevation view of the latch in the unlocked and latched condition.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevation view of the latch in the unlocked and unlatched condition and showing the cancellation lever in the canceling position.
FIG. 7 shows the latch in the unlatched and locked condition with the contactor depressed for keyless locking.
FIG. 8 shows the latch in the locked and unlatched condition with the cancellation lever in position to move the locking lever to the unlocked position when the latch is latched.
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view along the line 9-9 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 10- is an enlarged perspective view of the contactor, transfer member and cancellation lever.
As shown in the drawings for purposes of illustration, the invention is embodied in a latch (FIG. 2) particularly adapted for use with a hinged door 16 of an automotive vehicle. The latch includes a pivoted latching element 17 carried by the door to coact with a striker 18 mounted on a stationary post 19 of the vehicle frame. Herein, the latching element 17 takes the form of a fork 20 forming a recess 21 into which the striker 18 moves as the door is closed. Contact with the striker rotates the latching element counterclockwise from the position illustrated in FIG. 6 to the latched position illustrated in FIG. 1 to prevent separation of the striker and latching member by movement of the striker out of the recess 21 thus to hold the door closed.
The latching element is fixed to a bracket 22 disposed within the door 16 and having a base plate 24 secured against the inside of the wall of the door facing the post 19. Attached to this base plate is a flange 25 extending along the inner wall of the door and a flange 26 extending along the door outer wall. The latching element 17 is fastened to the end of a shaft 27 journaled on the base plate 24 adjacent an opening 28 (FIG. 1) formed in the base plate to receive the striker 18. A similar recess in the door end wall allows the striker to engage the latching element as the door is closed.
On the edge of the latching element opposite the fork 24) are adjacent teeth 29 and 30 forming a ratchet 31 which cooperates with a pawl 32 to releasably hold the latch. The pawl is fulcrumed on a pin 34 fixed to the base plate 24 and includes one arm 35 extending downwardly to a head 36 positioned to engage either of the teeth 29 and 30 of the ratchet, to set the latch in the safety and latched positions, respectively.
The pawl 32 thus engages the ratchet 31 to hold the latching element 17 against turning in the clockwise direction under the force of a contractile spring 37 (FIG. 1) held between a flange 38 on the latching member and the bracket flange 26. When the latching member is released, by pivoting of the pawl 32 in the counterclockwise direction, it turns clockwise until the flange 38 engages the head 36 of the pawl. Thus, when the pawl is swung back away from the ratchet, the latching element may turn from the latched or safety positions to the unlatched position shown in FIG. 6 to release the striker so the vehicle door may be opened. The pawl is urged into engagement with the ratchet by a coiled torsion spring 39 (FIG. 4) centered about the pin 34 and having one end extending down along and engaging the arm 35 of the pawl and another arm engaging the flange 26.
The latch may be released by actuation of a contactor 40 fulcrumed on the pin 34 and including an upwardly extending arm 41 supporting a flange 42 against which a rod 44 supported in the door 16 presses when shifted lengthwise. To shift the rod 44, a push button (not shown) exposed to the outside of the door is depressed in the usual manner. As shown in FIG. 4, shifting of this rod turns the contactor 40 counterclockwise about the pin 34 to a second position and against the force of a coiled spring 45 anchored to hold the contactor in a first upright position.
Motion of the contactor in the counterclocwise direction is transmitted to the pawl by .a transfer member 46 (FIGS. 5 and 6) rotatably supported on a pin 47 fixed to an arm 48 of the contactor. The transfer member includes an abutment 49 extending downwardly from the contactor arm 48 to a position immediately adjacent an abutment 50 on the pawl 32. Thus pivoting the contactor counterclockwise about the pin 34 causes the abutment 49 on the transfer member to contact the abutment 50 on the pawl 32 thereby turning the pawl counterclockwise out of engagement with the ratchet 31 for unlatching the latch.
To lock the latch, the transfer member 46 is pivoted about the supporting pin 47 to the locked position shown in FIG. 1. When in this position, the motion of the contactor is not transmitted to the pawl since the abutment 49 on the transfer member is shifted laterally so as not to contact the abutment 50 on the pawl as the contactor is turned. Thus, the contactor makes an idle motion and the latch remains latched.
For moving the transfer member 46 to the locked and unlocked positions, a locking lever 51 (FIGS. 1 and 3) is fulcrummed on a pin 52 fixed to a plate 54 extending between the projecting ends of the flanges 25 and 26 in a plane parallel to the bracket 24. This locking lever and transfer member are interlocked by a flange 55 on the transfer member 46 extending through an aperture 56 in the locking lever. The aperture 56 is elongated to permit movement of the transfer member with the contactor as the contactor is actuated between the first and second positions. Rotation of the locking lever about its supporting pin 52, however, results in contact between the edges of the aperture .and the transfer member flange 55 to shift the transfer member to the locked and unlocked positions. The locking lever is held in either the locked or unlocked positions by a coiled spring 57 having the ends secured to the locking lever and the plate 54.
The locking lever is shifted to the locked and unlocked positions by movement of a rod 58 extending to a garnish button (not shown) on the inside of the vehicle door. The rod 58 is extended through an opening in an arm 59 of the locking lever projecting through a slot in the flange 25. Movement of the rod vertically turns the locking lever about the pin 52 with the ends of the slot in the flange 25 acting as stops for the locking lever. The locking lever also can be turned from outside of the door by turning a key cylinder (not shown) coupled to a shaft 60 (FIGS. 1 and 2) journaled in the flange 26. Fixed to the shaft 60 adjacent the supporting flange is aC-shaped member 61 having the legs 62 thereof extending above and below an extension 64 of the locking lever projecting through a slot in the flange 26. Thus turning of the key cylinder brings one of the arms 62 of the member 61 into contact with the extension 64 to shift the locking lever to the locked and unlocked positions.
In accordance with the present invention, the latch is normally set in the unlocked state when the door is closed by transferring the motion of the latching member 17 as it moves from the unlatched to the latched positions to turn the locking lever to the unlocked position, with the latching member motion being transmitted by means of a cancellation member contacted by the latching member and fulcrumed at a point remote to the latching member. Accordingly, a cancellation lever/65 is fulcrumed on a pin 66 fixed to the base plate 24 at a point intermediate of the latching member 17 and the transfer member 46 and having arms 67 and 68 extending in opposite directions from the pin 66. Along the edge of the transfer member 46 and facing the latching and transfer members is a flange 69 which contacts the surface 72 on the locking lever 51 or the surface 76 on the transfer member. In certain positions, the flange is also contacted by the latching member 17 as it rotates from the unlatched to the latched positions. A coiled spring 70 centered about the pin 66 supporting the cancelling lever, urges the transfer member in a clockwise direction at all times. This coiled spring has one end anchored about a pin 71 fixed to the base plate 24 and the other end anchored to the canceling lever.
Thus the spring 70 holds the cancellation lever in a position such that the flange 69 thereon always abuts an edge 72 on the locking lever 51 when the transfer member is in the unlocked position (FIG. 6) or the locked position (FIG. 1). When the locking lever is in the locked position, the arm 67 of the canceling lever lies in the path 7'4 taken by an abutment 74 on the latching member as the latching element is turned from the unlatched to the latched position. Thus each time the latching member is rotated, as when the vehicle door is being closed, and with the locking lever in the locked position (FIG. 8), the abutment '74 contacts and turns the cancellation lever in the clockwise direction. This turning of the canceling lever causes the flange 69 to press against the edge 72 of the locking lever thereby turning the locking lever past the center position and allowing the spring 57 to snap it to the unlocked position. By this arrangement, the locking lever always is turned to the unlocked position each time the latch is latched. As explained before, turning the lockinglever to the unlocked position shifts the transfer member to a position of engagement with the pawl 32 as the contactor 40 is actuated to unlatch the latch. Obviously, as shown in FIG. 5, when the locking lever is in the unlocked position, the cancellation lever is turned out of the path of the latching member 17 and the position of the locking lever is unetfected when the latch is latched.
In accordance with another feature of the invention, keyless locking of the latch may be achieved by depressing the vehicle door push button as the door is shut, thereby shifting the contactor to the second position which disables the cancellation lever and prevents it from shifting the locking lever to the unlocked position as the latching member turns from the unlatched to the latched position. Accordingly, an arm 75 on the transfer member 46 extends in the general direction of the cancellation lever and along the locking lever. This arm '75 includes an edge '76 positioned closely adjacent the edge '72 on the locking lever. With the locking lever in the locked position (FIG. 1), shifting of the contactor 40 to the second position (FIG. 7) moves the arm '75 on the transfer member 46 downward into contact with the cancellation lever, thereby shifting cancellation lever counterclockwise to move the arm 67 thereon out of the path taken by the abutment 74 on the latching member 17 as it turns to the latched position. After the door is shut, that is, the latching member is in the latched position (FIG. 4) the contactor can be released and permitted to move back to the first position thereby allowing the cancelling lever again to contact the locking lever. However, the latching element now is held in the latched position by the pawl 32 and the locking lever remains in the locked position, positioning the abutment 49 out of alinement with the abutment 50 (FIG. 8). In this position, further actuation of the lever 40 results in idle movement of the abutment 49.
I claim as my invention:
1. A latch for a vehicle door having, in combination, a base adapted to be mounted on the door, a latching element mounted on said base to turn between latched and unlatched positions, a ratchet mounted to turn with said latching element, a pawl supported by said base and movable into and out of engagement with said ratchet for holding said latching element in the latched position, an operating member mounted on said base to move between first and second positions, a transfer member carried by said operating member for bodily movement therewith and mounted to move relative to the operating member between active and inactive positions, said transfer member being operable when in said active position to move said pawl out of engagement with said ratchet as said operating member is moved to said second position but making an idle motion when in said inactive position, a locking member mounted on said base to move between locked and unlocked positions and operable to move said transfer member to said active and inactive positions as it moves respectively to the unlocked and locked positions, a part movable with said latching element, and a canceling member movably mounted on said base and normally disposed in the path of said part to be moved by the part and in turn to move said locking member to said unlocked position as said latching element turns to said latched position, said transfer member being operable when in said inactive position and when said operating member is in said second position to move said cancelling member out of the path of said part.
2. In a latch for a vehicle door, the combination of, a base, a latching member mounted on the base for movement between latched and unlatched positions, a releasable element on said base normally holding said latching member in said latched position and movable to release said latching member for movement to said unlatched position, an operator mounted on said base for movement to an operated position in response to being actuated, a transfer member carried by said operator for bodily movement therewith and mounted to move relative to the operator between an active position transmitting movement of said operator to said releasable member and an inactive position uncoupling said releasable member from said operator whereby the latter makes an idle motion with respect to said releasable member when actuated with said transfer member in said inactive position, manually movable means on said base for moving said transfer member relative to said operator between said active and inactive positions, a canceling member mounted on said base and normally positioned to be moved by said latching member and in turn move said transfer member to said active position in response to movement of said latching member to said latched position when said transfer member is disposed in said inactive position, and
coacting parts on said transfer member and said canceling member engageable with one another to move the canceling member from its normal position and disable the canceling member from moving the transfer member to said active position when said operator is actuated with said transfer member in said inactive position.
3. A latch as defined in claim 2 further including a pivot element mounting said transfer member for bodily movement with said operator, said transfer member being mounted on said pivot element for swinging between said active and inactive positions.
4. A latch as defined in claim 3 in which said manually movable means comprises a locking member on said base and movable between locked and unlocked positions to swing said transfer member on said operator between said inactive and active positions, respectively, and a lost-motion connection coupling said locking member to swing said transfer member while permitting bodily movement of the latter with said operator without transmitting such movement to said locking member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,629,618 2/1953 Roethel 292280 3,027,184 3/1962 De Vito 292216 3,190,682 6/1965 FOX et a1. 292216 3,309,127 3/1967 Pickles 292216 RICHARD E, MOORE, Primary Examiner.