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Publication numberUS3476430 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 4, 1969
Filing dateMar 11, 1968
Priority dateMar 11, 1968
Publication numberUS 3476430 A, US 3476430A, US-A-3476430, US3476430 A, US3476430A
InventorsWidmer Paul
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vehicle door latch actuator
US 3476430 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

v1969 P. WIDMER VEHICLE DOOR LATCH ACTUATOR J ll! V Filed March 11, 1968 Egg" United States Patent US. Cl. 292--336.3 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vehicle door latch actuator in which a steel ball seats in a relatively deep upwardly opening receptacle formed in the retainer plate of the stationary handle. A relatively shallow downwardly facing complementary receptacle is formed in the pushbutton shaft which is axially slidable in said retainer plate to open the door. When the vehicle is in its normal upright position, the ball is contained entirely within the upwardly opening receptable. If the vehicle rolls over, the ball rolls into the relatively shallow receptacle in the shaft and, since this receptacle has a depth less than the diameter of the ball, the ball overlaps the retainer plate and blocks axial movement of the pushbutton shaft. As a modification, the receptacles can be transposed, the relatively deep, upwardly opening receptacle being formed in the pushrod and the relatively shallow, downwardly opening receptacle being formed in the stationary handle member.

This invention relates to a vehicle door latch actuator and, more particularly, to an improved latch actuator having means for blocking axial movement of the latch actuating pushrod in the event the vehicle moves a pre determined degree out of its normal upright position.

One feature of the invention is that it provides an improved vehicle door latch actuator. Another feature of the invention is that it provides a latch actuator having complementary receptacles formed in a portion of the handle and in the latch actuating pushrod which slides in said handle, and a blocking member in said receptacles, said member being contained wholly within one receptacle when the vehicle is in its normal upright position and being movable in response to gravitational forces to a position partially in each receptacle to block movement of the pushrod when the vehicle moves a predetermined degree out of its normal upright position.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description, having ref erence to the drawings in which:

FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view of an automobile having the improved door latch actuator mounted thereon;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged transverse vertical section taken along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a view similar to FIGURE 2 but showing the parts in a different angular position;

FIGURE 4 is a detail section similar to FIGURE 3 but showing the parts in a different position; and

FIGURE 5 is a detail section illustrating a modified form of the invention.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, an automobile designated generally as includes a body having a side wall 12, a roof 14, and a cowl 16. A door 18 is hingedly mounted at its front edge on the body in conventional manner, not illustrated, for swinging movement between the closed position shown and an open position. The door mounts a latch which cooperates with a striker on the body to hold the door closed. For an illustration of a suitable latch and striker arrangement, reference may be had to US. Patent No. 2,796,276, is-

lCC

sued June 18, 1957, to James D. Leslie and assigned to the assignee of this application.

A door handle designated generally as 20, is fixedly mounted on the outer panel of the door 18 by means of screws, one of which is designated at 24 in FIGURES 2 and 3. The handle 20 has an elongated hand grip portion 26 and an integral pushrod mounting portion 28 which extends into the door and which carries the actuating mechanism for the door latch. A retainer plate 30, which forms part of the stationary handle, is formed with a bore 32 for slidably receiving a latch actuating pushrod 34 which is axially slidable from the inoperative position illustrated inwardly of the automobile body to an operative position, as indicated in the Leslie patent, in which it actuates the latch to permit the door to be opened. A pushbutton 36 is afiixed to the outer end of the pushrod 34 and projects outwardly from the handle for finger operation from the inoperative position shown to the operative position as described above. A spring 38 seats between the retainer member 30 and the pushbutton 36 and biases the pushrod 34 and pushbutton 36 toward inoperative position.

In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG- URES 2, 3, and 4, the retainer plate 30 is formed with a relatively deep receptacle 40 which opens into the bore 32 and, as illustrated in FIGURE 2, faces in a generally upward direction when the automobile 10 is in normal upright position. As shown in FIGURE 2, the axis of the receptacle 40 is inclined from the vertical in an outwardly and upwardly extending direction when the vehicle is in its normal upright position.

The pushrod 34 is formed with a generally downwardly facing relatively shallow complementary receptacle 42 which, when the pushrod 34 is in the inoperative position illustrated in FIGURE 2, is axially aligned with and overlies the receptacle 40 in the retainer plate.

A blocking member, which is shown as a ball 44 of steel or the like, is freely movable in the receptacles 40 and 42. The ball 44 has a diameter less than the depth of the relatively deep receptacle 40 but greater than the depth of the relatively shallow receptacle 42. When the vehicle is in its normal upright position, as illustrated in FIGURE 2, the ball 44 is contained wholly within the receptacle 40 and provides no impediment to axial movement of the pushrod 34 upon finger actuation of the pushbutton 36. However, should the vehicle roll a predetermined degree out of its normal upright position, as illustrated in FIGURE 3, the ball 44 moves in response to gravitational force and inertia to a position partially in the shallow receptacle 42 and partially in the deep receptacle 40. When the parts are in this position, the ball 44 blocks axial movement of the pushrod 34, as illustrated in FIGURE 4. Should the pushb'utton 36 strike the ground or some other obstruction, the latch will not be released.

The degree of upward and outward inclination of the axes of the overlying receptacles 4d and 42, is not critical or even necessary. Some upward and outward inclination from the vertical is preferable to insure that the ball 44 moves to its blocking position as a function of gravity before the vehicle rolls degrees from its normal upright position.

FIGURE 5 shows a modification in which the pushrod 34 is formed with a relatively deep upwardly opening receptacle 50 which has a depth greater than the diameter of the ball 44. The retainer plate Sill is formed with a complementary downwardly facing relatively shallow receptacle 52 which, when the pushrod is in inoperative position, as shown in FIGURE 5, is axially aligned with and overlies the receptacle in the retainer plate. The operation of this form of the invention is similar to the form illustrated in FIGURES 2, 3, and 4. The axes of the receptacles incline from the vertical in an upwardly and outwardly extending direction when an automobile is in its normal upright position. If the automobile moves or rolls a predetermined degree out of its normal upright position, the ball 44 moves under the influences of gravity and inertia into the shallow receptacle 52. Since this receptacle has a depth less than the diameter of the ball, the ball overlaps the pushrod 34 and blocks axial movement thereof so that the door latch cannot be actuated.

While I have shown and described certain embodiments of my invention, it is capable of many modifications.

I claim:

1. A vehicle door latch actuator, comprising: a gripping handle fixedly mounted on an outer surface of said door and including retainer means having a bore; a latch actuating pushrod axially slidable in said bore, said pushrod being adapted to be finger actuated to slide axially from an inoperative position to a latch releasing position, said retainer means and pushrod being formed with complementary receptacles which overlie each other when the pushrod is in inoperative position, the receptacle which is lowermost when the vehicle is in its normal upright position being relatively deep and the receptacle which is uppermost being relatively shallow; and a blocking member freely movable in said receptacles, said blocking member having a height less than the depth of said relatively deep receptacle but greater than the depth of said relatively shallow receptacle, said blocking member being contained wholly within said relatively deep receptacle when said Vehicle is in its normal upright position and being movable in response to gravitational forces to a position partially in said relatively shallow receptacle and partially in said relatively deep receptacle to block axial movement of said pushrod when the vehicle moves a predetermined degree out of its normal upright position.

2. Apparatus of the character claimed in claim 1, wherein said blocking member comprises a ball having a diameter less than the depth of said relatively deep receptacle but greater than the depth of said relatively shallow receptacle.

3. Apparatus of the character claimed in claim 2, including means biasing said pushrod toward inoperative position.

4. Apparatus of the character claimed in claim 1, wherein said receptacles are axially aligned when said pushrod is in its inoperative position, and the axes of said receptacles incline from the vertical in an outwardly and upwardly extending direction when said vehicle is in its normal upright position.

5. A vehicle door latch actuator, comprising: a gripping handle fixedly mounted on an outer surface of said door and including retainer means having a bore for slidably receiving a latch actuating pushrod, said retainer means being formed with a relatively deep receptacle which opens into said bore and faces in a generally upward direction when said vehicle is in normal upright position; a latch actuating pushrod axially slidable in said bore, said pushrod being adapted to be finger actuated to slide axially from an inoperative position to a latch releasing position, and being formed with a downwardly facing relatively shallow complementary receptacle which, when said pushrod is in inoperative position, overlies the receptacle in said retainer means; and a blocking member freely movable in said receptacles, said blocking member having a height less than the depth of said relatively deep receptacle but greater than the depth of said relatively shallow receptacle, said blocking member being contained Wholly within said relatively deep receptacle when said vehicle is in its normal upright position and being movable in response to gravitational forces to a position partially in said relatively shallow receptacle and partially in said relatively deep receptacle to block axial movement of said pushrod when the vehicle moves a predetermined degree out of its normal upright position.

6. A vehicle door latch actuator comprising: a gripping handle fixedly mounted on an outer surface of said door and including retainer means having a bore for slidably receiving a latch actuating pushrod, said retainer means being formed with a relatively deep receptacle which opens into said bore and faces in a generally upward direction when said vehicle is in normal upright position, the axis of said receptacle being inclined from the vertical in an outwardly and upwardly extending direction when said vehicle is in its normal upright position; a latch actuating pushrod axially slidable in said bore and including a finger operated pushbutton portion, said pushrod being adapted to slide axially from an inoperative position to a latch releasing position, and being formed with a generally downwardly facing relatively shallow complementary receptacle which, when said pushrod is in inoperative position, is axially aligned with and overlies the receptacle in said retainer means; means biasing said pushrod toward inoperative position; and a blocking member freely movable in said receptacles, comprising a ball having a diameter less than the depth of said relatively deep receptacle but greater than the depth of said relatively shallow receptacle, said ball being contained wholly within said relatively deep receptacle when the vehicle is in its normal upright position and being movable in response to gravitational forces to a position partially in said relatively shallow receptacle and partially in said relatively deep receptacle to block axial movement of said pushrod when the vehicle moves a predetermined degree out of its normal upright position.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 614,192 11/1898 Welles 248407 1,692,826 11/ 1928 Genz 231 2,702,197 2/ 1955 Sabatino 280298 MARVIN A. CHAMPION, Primary Examiner R. L. WOLFE, Assistant Examiner

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US614192 *Sep 22, 1897Nov 15, 1898 Automatic locking device for chairs
US1692826 *Jun 15, 1927Nov 27, 1928William GanzLock
US2702197 *Sep 29, 1953Feb 15, 1955Sabatino Leo CAdjustable kickstand leg for bicycles
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5593496 *Jun 2, 1995Jan 14, 1997Swenson Process Equipment, Inc.Slurry crystallization method using bubbles directed at a heat exchanger
US6471262 *Jan 19, 2000Oct 29, 2002Valeo Gmbh & Company SchliessystemeDevice for locking a moveable part that is fitted onto a motor vehicle
US7284776 *Aug 4, 2004Oct 23, 2007Adac Plastics, Inc.Vehicular door handle included secondary latch
US7513544Sep 11, 2007Apr 7, 2009Adac Plastics, Inc.Vehicular door handle including secondary latch
US7600795Sep 6, 2007Oct 13, 2009Adac Plastics, Inc.Vehicular door handle including secondary latch
DE19949119B4 *Oct 12, 1999Dec 29, 2005Valeo Gmbh & Co Schliesssysteme KgLocking device for moveable part fitted on a motor vehicle, comprises a spherical control part mounted within a fixed cavity
WO2014176008A1 *Apr 2, 2014Oct 30, 2014Illinois Tool Works Inc.Door handle assembly for an automobile
Classifications
U.S. Classification292/336.3
International ClassificationE05B1/00, E05B65/26, E05B65/22
Cooperative ClassificationE05B1/0038
European ClassificationE05B1/00D