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Publication numberUS3603046 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 7, 1971
Filing dateMay 8, 1970
Priority dateMay 8, 1970
Publication numberUS 3603046 A, US 3603046A, US-A-3603046, US3603046 A, US3603046A
InventorsHumphrey Stanley Jr
Original AssigneeHumphrey Stanley Jr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automobile servicing unit
US 3603046 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Inventor Stanley Humphr y, Jr.

2924 Indiana N.E., Albuquerque, N. Mex. 871 10 App]. No. 35,752

Filed May 8,1970

Patented Sept. 7, 1971 AUTOMOBILE SERVICING UNIT 13 Claims, 1 Drawing Fig.

llllll [56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 1,357,022 10/l920 Bahls 52/173 3,533,200 10/1970 Zoebelein 52/173 X Primary ExaminerPatrick D. Lawson Attorney-Richard A. Bachand ABSTRACT: A unit to accommodate a person and over which an automobile may be positioned to allow the person access to the underside of the automobile, including an open enclosure having a stairway providing ingress and egress thereto, a doorway closable over the opening to prevent unauthorized access to the enclosure, and means for positioning the car at a location allowing access to the desired portions of the underside of the automobile.

PATENTEUSEP Hm I 3 03046 m lllulll i "'26 5 2| "Ilil l ENTOR. STANLEY HU HREY ATTORNEY AUTOMOBILE SERVICING UNIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to improvements in apparatus for use in conjunction with automotive servicing, and more particularly to a prefabricated unit for servicing the undersides of an automobile.

2. Description of the Prior Art Soon after automobiles began increasing in popularity across the United States, service stations began springing up. Early service stations, prior to the introduction of hydraulic car lifts, commonly had a hole in the floor of the garage over which the car to be services was positioned. The mechanic servicing the car merely went into the hole for access to the underside and engine of the car. These so called grease pits" were just a hole dug in the ground of depth sufficient to accommodate a mechanic. The mechanic, of course, would have to carry his tools and equipment into the pit.

As technology has advanced, the hydraulic lift has almost entirely replaced the formerly used grease pits in service stations, allowing a mechanic to merely drive the car to be serviced over the lift, and apply a hydraulic fluid to raise the car over the mechanics head allowing him free access to the undersides of the car without having to crawl under it.

However, as technology further advanced, car service has become almost prohibitively expensive. As a result, many car owners, rather than have their cars serviced at service stations, do the work themselves as a hobby or to save expenses or for various other reasons. One problem, however, these do-ityourselfers have found is the conspicuous absence of places or garages in which they may work on their cars. A do-it-yourself oil change, for example, in the driveway of ones house is messy and inconvenient, and, moreover, poses the additional problem of disposing of the old oil removed from the crank case of the car. In many localities, dumping used crankcase oil on the ground is illegal. Thus, a person changing his oil must find a proper oil dump or other safe way to dispose of the used oil.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In light of the above, it is an object of the invention to provide a unit which is easily installable in which a do-it-yourselfer may conveniently service his automobile.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a unit which is coverable to prevent accidental or unauthorized access thereto.

It is a still further object of the invention to provide a unit which can easily be substantially prefabricated of a single piece of material.

These and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description when read in conjunction with the appended claims and attached drawings.

The present invention is a five-wall unit for installation in the ground to provide an enclosure of dimensions sufficient to accommodate a person. Mounted in the enclosure is a stairway to allow ingress and egress from it, and covering the enclosure is a slidable door which may be mechanically or manually operated to partially, or completely close off the enclosure. Additionally, a lip or wing is provided on the top of the enclosure having thereon means to direct and position a wheel of an automobile to properly locate the engine and other underside mechanisms of the car over a desired part of the enclosure for efficient servicing. An oil drain assembly and a grease gun assembly may be additionally prefabricated into the unit to provide an entirely prefabricated assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention is illustrated in the sole FIGURE of the drawin in which is illustrated a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention, which has been partially cutaway to show the interior construction of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION As shown in the drawing, the unit 10 of the invention is made generally of five wall members making up the floor 20, and four walls 21, 22, 23, and 24. The floor and walls define a cavity open atthe top, and intended for installation in an appropriate hole or cavity in the ground or other surface to allow an automobile to be driven or located over the enclosure. Of course, the dimensions of the enclosure may be varied as matter of engineering or design choice, but should be sufficient to accommodate at least one person to work on the car. The walls may be of any material; however, materials such as fiberglass, stainless steel, aluminum, or the like are especially desirable since they may be molded, blown, welded, or otherwise easily formed into the shape illustrated.

Around the top edge of the unit 10 is at least one lip, wing, or apron 25 extending outwardly from the enclosure and having formed along its surface means for positioning the car at a desired location over the enclosure. Such positioning means may conveniently be a guide rail assembly 26, which may be made of pipes or tubing, or formed as an extension of the wall, as illustrated. To properly position the automobile over the grease pit, a recess 29 may be formed in the wing 25 in which the front wheel of the car may be brought to rest. Alternatively, a single pipe (not shown) may be mounted on the wing perpendicular to the direction of the desired path of the wheel against which the wheel may be brought to rest. Appropriate pipe tubing which may be used as guide rails, if desired, may be of any material of substantial strength to withstand the forces exerted thereupon by the automobile tire, and may be made, for example, of steel, iron, or the like. Although the invention is illustrated with two similar guide rail assemblies 26 on each side of the assembly, since the width between automobile wheels varies among manufacturers, only one guide rail assembly may be preferred in particular installations.

Contained within the unit 10 is a staircase 30, which, like the walls and wings may be formed or molded of fiberglass, stainless steel, or the like, and which may be separately formed and installed, as illustrated, or may be formed integrally as a part of the overall unit 10. Thus, ifthe unit 10 is to be molded, it may be formed with floor 20, walls 2ll24, wings 25 and 26, and staircase 30 all as a single unitary piece, as shown.

Covering the enclosure is a door 40 which may be of a slidable or foldable type, and which may be guided into position by guides 41 and 42 on opposite sides of the enclosure. Door 40 may fold down into a doorwell (not shown) mounted on the wall 22 of unit It), and may be driven or controlled by an electrical motor (not shown) or, alternatively, by a piston arrangement (not shown) or may be manually operated. The door 40 may close the unit entirely, as would be preferable in a private installation to prevent unauthorized entry into the enclosure; alternatively, the door may only partially cover the enclosure, as would be preferable in a public installation, such as would be encountered in with respect to a vending machine type operation.

Within the enclosure of unit 10, on one of its walls, such as wall 24, may be mounted an oilreceiving assembly 415. Oilreceiving assemblies, such as assembly 45, being well known in the art and not described herein in detail may be a receiving bowl 46 mounted on flexible or movable pipe 47 to allow the bowl to be placed under the appropriate engine oil drain port. Connected to the pipe 47 external to the unit may be an oil sludge receptacle (not shown).

Additionally, a grease gun assembly 50 may be mounted on one of the walls, as wall 24. Such grease gun assemblies and mountings, being well known in the art, are not, therefore, described herein.

Although the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity. it is understood that the present disclosure has been made only by way of example and that nu- I merous changes in the details of the construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without the parting from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.

What is claimed is:

l. A prefabricated unit for mounting in a hole in the ground to accommodate a person to allow him access to the undersides of a vehicle positioned over said unit comprising:

five wall members joined together to form a box enclosure open at one side; at least one wing member joined to one of said walls at said opening to project outwardly from said opening;

means on said at least one wing for guiding an automobile wheel along said wing; and

means for retaining said wheel at a preselected position on said wing.

2. The unit of claim 1 further comprising:

a stair assembly in said unit to allow ingress and egress from the box enclosure of said unit, and means on said open portion of said box for covering said box.

3. The unit of claim 2 wherein said means for covering said box is a sliding door and means guiding said door along two of said five wall members.

4. The unit of claim 3 wherein said means for guiding said door extend in the direction of travel of said means for guiding an automobile wheel, and said door extends at least to said means for retaining said wheel.

5. The unit of claim 4 further comprising a grease gun assembly mounted on one of said five wall members and an oil drain assembly mounted on one of said five wall members.

6. The unit of claim 2 wherein said five wall members, said wing, and said stair assembly are formed of fiberglass.

7. The unit of claim 2 wherein said five wall members, said wing and said stair assembly are of steel.

8. The unit of claim 1 wherein said means for guiding an automobile wheel comprises at least one pipe disposed along the desired path of said automobile wheel.

9. The unit of claim 8 wherein said means for guiding an automobile wheel is two parallel pipes running along the desired path of said automobile wheel, spaced apart a distance to accommodate said wheel.

10. The unit of claim 6 wherein said unit is of a single piece of material.

11. A unit over which a car may be driven to contain a person to allow said person access to the undersides of said car comprising:

a unitary box including five walls forming an open enclosure;

a wing portion extending outwardly from the opening of said enclosure;

a stair member on an inside of one of said walls to provide a means of ingress and egress to said enclosure;

a door mounted on one of said walls, operable to close said enclosure of said box;

means for guiding an automobile wheel along said wing;

means for locating said automobile wheel at a desired position on said wing.

12. The unit of claim 1 1 further comprising a grease gun assembly mounted on one of said walls.

13. The unit of claim 12 further comprising an oil drain assembly mounted on one of said walls.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1357022 *Oct 17, 1919Oct 26, 1920Otto BahlsStructure particularly for inspecting automobiles
US3533200 *Aug 29, 1967Oct 13, 1970Crane Canada LtdPrefabricated room assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4278247 *Feb 26, 1979Jul 14, 1981Joppe R BrentWater slide
US5259482 *May 22, 1992Nov 9, 1993Hydro-QuebecRetractable shutter for continuously covering the pit of a movable vehicle lift post
US6651778 *Feb 13, 2002Nov 25, 2003Arogas, Inc.Self-serve lube service for truckers and other over-the-road vehicle operators
US8646226 *Oct 28, 2010Feb 11, 2014Peter J. BARRAMModular vehicle service pit
US20050010432 *Jun 1, 2004Jan 13, 2005Dustin OttMethods and systems for servicing tires
US20110099922 *Oct 28, 2010May 5, 2011Barram Peter JModular vehicle service pit
DE2904399A1 *Feb 6, 1979Aug 7, 1980Daimler Benz AgMovable section vehicle inspection pit cover - has plates hinged as roller shutter and movable along guide track
DE3825718A1 *Jul 28, 1988Feb 1, 1990Hans BalzerRolladenartige abdeckung fuer reparatur- und montagegruben
EP0115087A1Dec 31, 1983Aug 8, 1984Rhein-Bayern Fahrzeugbau GmbH & Co. KGCover for a servicing hole in the form of a sliding shutter
U.S. Classification52/173.1, D25/2, 52/36.1
International ClassificationE04H5/06, E04H5/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04H5/06
European ClassificationE04H5/06