US 3596484 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Theodore F. Peters Utica, Mich. 121] Appl. No. 846,539  Filed July 31, 1969  Patented Aug. 3, 1971  Assignee General Motors Corporation Detroit, Mich.
541 CLOSURE LATCH 6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
 1.1.8 Cl 70/240, 70/275, 292/198. 292/201, 292/240, 292/304, I 292/336, 292/D1G. 43  Int. Cl 1305b 51/0 2,
1505b 65/19  Field otSearch 70/142, 157, 240, 275; 292/201, 198, 240, 304, 336, 341.13, 341.16, 341.17, 229, 333, 334, 341.11
 Reterences Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,943,927 1/1934 Phillips 292/341.11 X
Primary Examiner-Albert G. Craig, Jr. Att0rneys-Warren E. Finken and Arthur N. Krein ABSTRACT: A closure latch for a vehicle deck lid or the like includes a striker secured to the deck lid in cooperative relation to a latch pivotally connected to the vehicle body for movement from a first or unlatched position out from engagement with the striker to a second or latched position engaging the striker to pull it, thereby pulling the deck lid firmly against the vehicle body with a weather seal compressed between the deck lid and the vehicle body. A latch hook is pivotally connected adjacent to the latch and is normally biased to engage the latch and retain it in the first position but is adapted to be contacted by the striker for disengagement from the latch to permit movement of the latch by a differential fluid pressure operated piston or by rotation of the latch hook as effected by contact with the striker.
PATENTED Am; 3 mm SHEET 1 [IF 2 CLOSURE LATCH This invention relates to closure latches and more particularly to a closure latch which is adapted to be closed manually or by a power-actuated device and which is adapted to be latched either manually or by a power-actuated device and which is adapted to be unlatched either manually or by a power actuated valve control mechanism.
In various applications of closure latches, for example, in a motor vehicle deck lid, it is desirable that the final closure be power assisted so as to draw the deck lid tightly shut assuring adequate compression of a weather seal, but is also desirable under certain circumstances to'be able toeffect this closure manually. It is also desirable in order to minimize alignment requirements to have the closure latch operable in more than one latching hold down position.
Accordingly, the primary object of this invention is to improve a closure latch mechanism for use on a vehicle decklid whereby the deck lid is pulled to a fully closed position either by a power assist mechanism or manually. Another object of this invention is to improve closure latch mechanisms so that the closure latch mechanism is operable in an infinite number of latching hold down positions. A still further object of this invention is to improve closure latch mechanisms whereby unlatching can be effected either manually or by a power actuated control element.
In accordance with the present invention, the closure latch mechanism includes a striker member mounted on the deck lid of a vehicle which is adapted to be moved to a partially closed position at which position the striker can be engaged by a latch which is pivoted to the bodyof the vehicle. The latch is pivotable from a spring-biased unlatched position, maintained by a biased hook having a detent engageable with a stop on the latch, to a latched position either .by a fluid operated power mechanism or manually. For power operation, the latch is connected to a valve-controlled differential fluid pressure operated motor. Manual pivotal movement of the latch is done by mans of the hook engaging a latching pin on the latch as the deck lid is forced down by an. operator. Unlatching is effected by either power or manual actuation of the valve system controlling the operation of the differential fluid pressure operated motor. I
For a better understanding for the invention as well as other objects and further features thereof, reference is had to the following detailed description of the invention to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a partial elevational view of the rear of a motor vehicle body embodying a closure latch according to this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged view ofa portion of FIG. 1 with parts broken away for the sake of clarity showing the closure latch of the invention in a closed position; and,
FIG. 3 is a view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
Referring now particularly to FIG. 1 of the drawings, a vehicle body includes a rear window 12 and a deck lid 14 which is swingably mounted at its forward edge, not shown, on the body 10 for movement between a closed position, as shown,
and an open position, not shown, to open and close the rear deck compartment of the vehicle. Preferably, the deck lid is swingably mounted by spaced counterbalanced hinges, as is well known in the art.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the deck lid 14 includes an outer panel 20 and an inner panel 21 suitably secured to each other to provide a housing 22 at the rear portion of the deck lid. Positioned within the housing 22 and suitably secured to the inner panel is a backplate 23 for supporting the striker assembly 30 of the closure latch, while another back plate 24 is secured in a suitable manner to the vehicle body 10 for supporting the latch assembly 40 of this closure latch.
The striker assembly 30 which could be made as a single unitary structure, is preferably constructed .as shown, to include a striker base 32 having flanged portions 32 secured as by bolts 34 to inner panel 21 and backplate 23 and having a depending striker portion 33 to which a striker roller 35 is rotatably secured as by headed stud 36. The depending striker portion 33 carrying the striker roller 35 extends through suitable apertures 25 and 26 in the backup plate 23 and inner panel 21, respectively, to pass through the aperture 11 in the vehicle body 10 as the deck lid is lowered so that the striker roller 35 is in operative relation to the latch assembly 40.
The latch assembly 40 includes a baseplate 41 secured by stud bolts 42 to backplate 24. The baseplate includes a central mounting portion 43 with raised boss-bearing portions 44 and includes a depending support portion 45 terminating in an apertured cylinder support portion 46.
A latch is pivotally mounted intermediate its ends by a pivot stud 47 to a centrally located boss-bearing portion 44 of the baseplate 41. The latch 50 is provided with an eccentric pull down flange portion 51 adapted to cooperate with striker roller 35 and a stop flange 52 spaced from the pull down flange 51, all positioned at one end of the latch. As shown, the leading edge portion of the pull down flange, that is, the portion which first engages the striker roller, is spaced a greater distance from the axis about which latch 50 is pivoted than the trailing edge portion so that as the pull down flange engages the striker roller, it is pulled toward the pivotal axis, the term pull down being used relative to the arrangement shown. At its opposite end, the latch is pivotally secured by pin 53 to one end of link 54, the opposite end of this link being pivotally connected by pin 55 to piston rod 75 of a differential fluid pressure operated motor 70 whereby the latch can be rotated in a counterclockwise direction, as seen in FIG. 3, form an unlatched position as shown by the broken lines in this figure to a latched position, as shown.
The latch 50 is normally biased clockwise to the unlatched position, the position of the latch as shown by the broken lines in FIG. 3, by spring 56 and is normally held in this position by hook 60. Spring 56 has one leg engaging a suitable apertured portion of baseplate 41 and has its other leg engaging a pin 56 secured to the latch 50.
A latch hook 60 is pivotally secured at one end to a lower boss-bearing portion 44 of baseplate 41 by headed pivot stud 61 and is normally biased in a clockwise direction as seen in FIG. 3, by spring 62 having one end engaging an apertured portion of baseplate 41 and its other end extending through a suitable aperture in hook 60. The free end of the latch hook is provided with a curved follower portion 63 adapted to be en gaged by striker roller 36 to effect rotation of the latch hook in a counterclockwise direction against the biasing action of spring 62. Intermediate its ends, the latch hook is provided with a detent 64 adapted to engage stop flange 52 of latch 50 to normally retain the latch in the unlatched position shown by the broken lines in FIG. 3.
On the opposite side from the curved follower portion 63, latch hook 60 is provided with a latch-operating portion 65 adapted to engage a latching pin 58 secured to latch 50 for a purpose to be described.
Latch 50 can be rotated in a counterclockwise direction, from an unlatched position to the latched position, as previously described in relation to FIG. 3,. either by a differential fluid pressure operated motor or manually by means of latch hook 60 contacting the latching pin 58 on latch 50.
In the preferred embodiment, the differential fluid pressure operated motor 70 includes a cylinder 71 enclosed at one end by apertured cover plate 72 secured thereto as by welding and by means of which this assembly is secured by bolts 73 to the apertured cylinder support portion 46 of base plate 41 and is suitably enclosed at its opposite end as, for example, by a valve assembly 74 which may be a separate element secured to the cylinder, or as shown, formed as an integral part thereof. A piston rod 75 connected at one end by link 56 to the latch 50 extends through the apertured cylinder support 46 and apertured cover plate 72 and is provided at the opposite end with a piston in the form of opposed piston cups 76 and 77 secured between the shoulder 78 on the piston rod and nut 79 engaging the threaded end of this rod. The size of the apertures in the cylinder support portion 46 and cover plate 72 are large enough to provide sufficient clearance around the piston rod to permit the easy ingress and egress of aeriform fluid.
The piston is moved to the right, as shown in FIG. 3, by connecting this endof the cylinder to a vacuum source by means of the valve assembly 74 which is provided with a chamber 81 connected to passage 82 in communication with a spring 83 biased ball check valve 84 connected by conduit 85 to the vehicle engine intake manifold or to a vacuum storage tank, not shown, as is well known in the art. Thus, under normal circumstances, either when the vacuum storage tank has been evacuated or when the engine is in operation the right-hand end of the cylinder 71 will be evacuated, and then atmospheric pressure acting on the opposite side of the piston will force it to the right overcoming the baising action of spring 56, unless, of course, the latch 50 is being retained in the unlatched position by latch hook 60 as previously described. To permit movement of the piston to the left as seen in FIG. 3 by the biasing action of spring 56, pressure is equalized on opposite sides of the piston by having the right-hand end of the cylinder 71 placed in communication with atmospheric pressure via solenoid valve SOL-V. The armature 86 of the solenoid valve SOL-V terminates in a valve stem 87 having at its lower end valve element 88. which normally is biased by spring 90 against the valve seta formed on a wall portion of chamber 81, spring 90 having one end resting upon a shoulder 91 of the armature 86 and the other end resting against a shoulder formed in valve chamber 92. The solenoid valve SOL-V is connectable to a suitable source of electrical power such as a vehicle battery 8-1 by means of normally open switch SW-l which could be, for example, the ignition switch for the vehicle, and normally open switch SW-3 or by the parallel circuit containing normally open switch SW-2. Switch SW-2, for example, can be suitably mounted for access from the exterior of the vehicle either at the rear of the vehicle or on the curb side of the vehicle, while switch SW-3 can be mounted on the instrument panel of the vehicle for operation from the interior of the vehicle. Upon closure of either switches SW-l and SW-3 or switch SW-Z, the solenoid valve SOL-V is energized causing retraction of the armature 86 depressing valve element 88 thereby, in effect, connecting chamber 81 via valve chamber 92 to the atmosphere.
In addition to venting of the cylinder 71 to atmospheric pressure by energizing the solenoid valve SOL-V as previously described, provision is also made whereby this can be done mechanically by means of rotatable cam 94 suitably journaled adjacent to the free end of the armature 86. The cam 92 is provided with a square-shaped bore which receives the complementary-shaped end of shaft 95. Shaft 96 is part of a key cylinder lock assembly 96 mounted to the vehicle body. The key cylinder lock assembly 96 is of a known type and upon insertion of a key therein, the shaft 96 can be turned to in turn rotate cam 94.
In the embodiment shown, the key cylinder assembly 96 is located on the vehicle body in position to mechanically actuate the solenoid valve SOL-V via shaft 95 and cam 94 but it is apparent that, if desired, the cylinder 71 could be connected by a suitable conduit to a separate but similar mechanically actuated valve located at any convenient location on the vehicle body whereby the cylinder 71 can be placed in communi cation with aeriform fluid at atmospheric pressure.
When the valve element 88 is depressed connecting valved end of the cylinder to atmospheric pressure and closing off passage 82, the pressure on opposite sides of the piston is substantially equalized enabling the spring 56 to effect rotation of latch 50 clockwise as seen in FIG. 3 to bring the latch to the unlatched position and to move the piston to its normal position, to the left as seen by the broken lines. Thus, spring 56 acts as a piston return spring in much the same manner as if it were placed within the cylinder 71, as is well known in the art.
Referring again to FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, the operation of the closure latch will be described with particular reference being made to the relationship of the various elements with respect to each other. It is assumed that the deck lid is in a fully open position, that a vacuum is being maintained in the vacuum storage tank and that the solenoid valve SOL-V is in the normally closed position with switches SW-2 and SW-3 in their normally open position and that the key cylinder assembly 96 is in a locked position. At this time as a result of the previous unlatching of the closure latch, the latch 50 is in the unlatched position as shown by the broken lines in FIG. 3 and is retained in this position by biased latch hook 60 having the detent 64 thereon engaging the stop flange 52 of latch 50. With the latch 50 thus restrained against rotational movement in a counterclockwise direction, the differential fluid pressure operated motor 70, although connectable via the ball check valve 84 to a vacuum source, cannot cause pivotal movement of latch 50.
As the deck lid is lowered by an operator to a partially closed position, the striker roller 35 engages the curved follower portion 63 of latch hook 60 so that as the deck lid is moved further toward the fully closed position, striker roller 35 will move down beneath the leading edge of the pull down flange 51 while at the same time forcibly rotating latch hook 60 in a counterclockwise direction to disengage detent 64 from stop flange 52, thereby releasing the latch 50. As soon as the latch 50 is released by latch hook 60, the piston of the dif ferential fluid pressure operated motor 70 will be forced to the right as seen in FIG. 3, thus, via the piston rod 75 and link 54, rotating the latch 50 in a counterclockwise direction whereby the striker roller 35 is engaged by the pull down flange 51 pulling the deck lid down to a fully closed position while compressing a conventional sealing gasket 16 between the deck lid 14 and the vehicle body 10. Striker roller 35 can ride down under pull down flange 51 until it engages the stop flange 52 which defines the lower pull down limit of the closure latch assembly.
However, depending on the compressibility of the sealing gasket or the alignment of the striker assembly on the deck lid and the latch assembly on the vehicle body, the latch may be effectively rotated part of the way so that the striker roller 35 may come to rest at any position under the pull down flange intermediate its ends with the deck lid tightly secured and latched in position. Regardless of where the striker roller 35 comes to rest under the pull down flange 51, the construction of the closure latch of the invention still permits unlatching when desired. The differential fluid pressure operated motor 70 is, of course, of a size sufficient to overcome the force of spring 56 while at the same time being able to effect the desired sealing of the deck lid by compression of the sealing gasket 16 between the deck lid and the vehicle body.
As previously described, unlatching of the closure latch can be accomplished either from the interior of the vehicle or from the exterior of the vehicle and it can be done either power assisted or manually. For a power assisted opening, the operator can either close the externally located switch SW-Z or from the interior of the vehicle he can close switches SW-l and SW-3 to energize solenoid valve SOL-V, thereby causing armature 86 to retract thus depressing the valve element 88 and placing the right-hand end of cylinder 71 in communication with aeriform fluid at atmospheric pressure allowing spring 56 to return the latch 50 to the unlatched position and the piston to which it is attached to the left as seen in FIG. 3. As this occurs, the pull down flange 51 as pulled away from the striker roller 35 releasing it for upward movement thus allowing the deck lid to move upward under the influence of the conventional counterbalanced spring hinges. 'When the deck lid is moved upward, the latch hook 60 is then free to rotate in a clockwise direction, as seen in FIG. 3, by the biasing action of spring 62 until the detent 64 on this hook again engages the stop flange 52 to retain the latch 50in the unlatched position.
In a similar manner, opening of the closure latch can be accomplished manually by turning the key of the key cylinder lock assembly 96 to rotate cam 94 to mechanically depress the armature 86 of solenoid valve SOL-V thereby connecting the right-hand end of cylinder 71 to aeriform fluid at atmospheric pressure.
ble because of lengthy storageof the vehicle, it is not necessary toestablish a source of vacuum power before the deck lid can be closed; Instead, the deck lid can be physically latched by the operator manually depressing the lid to a fully closed position causing the striker roller 35 to engage the curved follower portion 63 of latch hook 60 thereby rotating this hook in a counterclockwise direction, as seen in FIG.-3. As the latch hook rotates inthis direction, thejlatch operating portion 65 contacts the latching pin 58 on latch. 50, now released for movement by disengagement of detent 64 from stop flange 52, to effect rotational movement of the latch 50 whereby the striker roller 3 5 is pulled downunder pull down flange 51 to efi'ect' latching. During this manual latching, as the piston is moved to the right, as seen in FIG. 3, an excessive buildup-of fluid pressure on that side of the piston will be prevented by the discharge of fluid through the ball checkvalve. Full pull down for a tightl y sealed deck lid then results automatically when the vehicle engine is startedagain and a vacuum is established in the vacuum storage tank. V
This invention thus provides a deck lid closure latch'which is either power operated to move the deck lidto a fully closed position or manually operated and then power assisted for a fully sealed closure. The closure latch is also operable from either the interior of thevehicle or from the :exterior of the vehicle, either power assisted or manu'allyop'erated, to efiect the unlatching of the deck lid. Although the closure latch of this invention'has been shown and described in conjunction 'with a vehicle deck lid, it is obvious that it can also. be used in conjunction with other vehicle closures or closures in other devices.
While the invention has been described with reference to the structures disclosed herein, it is not confined to the details cations or changes as may come within the purposes of the imi set forth, and this application is intended to cover such modifiprovements or the scope of the following claims.- i
What I claim is: V
' l. A closure latch for latching a closure member to a sup-. port member, the closure member being swingably mounted for movement between open and closed positions relative to the support member, the closure latch including striker means secured to one of saidmembers, latch mean swingably mounted on said other member for movement from an unlatched position to a latched posi- "tion relative to said striker means, said latch means ineluding a pull down flange operable to engage and move said striker means relative to said other member when said latch means is rotated from said unlatchedposition to said latched position, latch hook means movably positioned to normally engage and hold said latch means in said unlatched position and to be engaged by said striker means for movement to release said latch means, actuating means operatively connected to said latch mans for rotating said latch means between said unlatched position and said latched position, said actuating means ineluding v I a diflerential fluid pressure operated motor connected to said latch means, valve mean connecting said differential fluid pressure operated motor to a source of fluid at a first pressure and to a source of fluid at a second pressure, and
valve actuator means operatively connected to said valve means to selectively control said valve means. 2. A closure latch according to claim 1 wherein said valve means includes I first valve means connecting said differential fluid pressure operated motor to said source of fluid at a firstipressure, and i second valve'means connecting said differential fluid pres sure operated motor to said source of fluid at a second pressure, and i wherein said valve actuator means is operatively connected to said second valve means for selectively operating said second valve means. 3. A closure latch for latching a closure member to a suption spaced a greater distance from said axis than said trailing edge portion, a stop means adjacent said trailing edge portion positioned to be in interference relation to said striker means, and a latchingpin, said flange means being operable to engage andmove said striker means relative to said other member when said latch means is rotated from said unlatched position to said latched position, a v latch hook means swinga bly positioned adjacent said latch means to normally engage said stop means to hold said latch means in said unlatched position and to be engaged by said striker means for movement to release said latch means and to engage said latching pin to pivot said latch means from'said unlatched position toward said latched position,
power means operatively connected to said latch means for i rotating said latch means from said unlatched positionto said latched position, and back to said unlatched position and.
controlmeans connnected to said power means to operate said power means to selectively move said latch means between said unlatched position and said latched position and to permit movement of said latch means by said latch hook means. v
4. A closure latch according to claim 3 wherein said power means includes a differential fluid pressure operated motor connectable to a source of fluid at a first pressure and to a source of fluid at a second pressure, said differential fluid pressure operated motor being connected to said latch means to move said latch means to said latched position, and
bias means connected to said latch means to normally bias said latch mean to said unlatched position.
5. A closure latch according to claim 4 wherein said control means includes a one-way valve means connecting said differential fluid pressure operated motor to said source of fluid at a first pressure,
valve means connecting said differential fluid pressure operated motor to said source of "fluid at a second pressure, and
key cylinder lock means operatively connected to said valve means to selectively actuate said valve means.
6. A closure latch according to claim 4 wherein said control means includes a one-way valve means connecting said differential fluid pressure operated motor to said source of fluid at a first pressure,
valve means connecting said. differential fluid pressure operated motor to said source to fluid at a second pressure, and
electrically operated means operatively connected to said valve means to selectively actuate said valve means.
my UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,596,484 Dated November 5 1971 Inventor) Theodore F. Peters It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1, line 12, after "but", insert --it--;
line 16, "hold" should read --hold-; line 39, "mans" should read --means--: and, line 74, "striker base 32" should read --striker base 3l-; Column 2, line 30, "form" should read --from--;
line 46, "36" should read --35--; and, line 70, "56" should read --54--; Column 3, line 26, "seta" should read --seat-:
line 48, "92" should read --94-; and, line 50, "96" should read --95--; Column 6, line 10, "member" should read --members,--;
line 12, delete the word "be": line 14, "leasing" should read -leading--; and, line 49, "mean" should read --means--.
Signed and sealed this 21st day of March 1972.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents