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Publication numberUS3719380 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 6, 1973
Filing dateJan 4, 1971
Priority dateJan 4, 1971
Publication numberUS 3719380 A, US 3719380A, US-A-3719380, US3719380 A, US3719380A
InventorsH Watermann
Original AssigneeKiekert Soehne Arn
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Motor-vehicle door latch with pivotal latching fork
US 3719380 A
Abstract
A motor-vehicle door latch has a housing formed by a U-shaped member which projects from the door edge and has a flat backing plate bridging its two horizontal U-legs. The web of the U-shaped member is formed with a horizontally directed notch. A horizontal pivot pin for a vertical latching fork is journaled in the backing plate and the web below the notch and above the notch is pivoted a rotatable detent engageable with one arm of the fork to lock a bolt mounted on the vehicle doorpost in the notch and hold the door closed. The other arm of the fork is driven back in the housing by the bolt when the door is closed to rotate the locking arm into the locking position. An elastomeric body within the housing forms a resilient cushion for the door bolt when the door is closed.
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United States Patent 1191 Watermann [54] MOTOR-VEHICLE DOOR LATCH WITH PIVOTAL LATCHING FORK [75] Inventor: Hans Dieter Watermann, Metzkausen, Germany [58] Field of Search ..292/2l6, 198, DIG. 41, DIG. 26, 29 2/DIG. 27, 280

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,476,333 7/1949 Tierney et al ..292/DlG. 26 3,432,198 3/1969 Connor 9/1965 Roethel ..292/2l6 1 March 6, 1973 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,021,024 11/1952 France .292/201 1,812,528 10/1969 Germany ..292/2l6 Primary Examiner-Richard E. Moore AttorneyKarl F. Ross [57] ABSTRACT A motor-vehicle door latch has a housing formed by a U-shaped member which projects from the door edge and has a flat backing plate bridging its two horizontal U-legs. The web of the U-shaped member is formed with a horizontally directed notch. A horizontal pivot pin for a vertical latching fork is journaled in the backing plate and the web below the notch and above the notch is pivoted a rotatable detent engageable with one arm of the fork to lock a bolt mounted on the vehicle door post in the notch and hold the door closed. The other arm of the fork is driven back in the housing by the bolt when the door is closed to rotate the locking arm into the locking position. An elastomeric body within the housing forms a resilient cushion for the door bolt when the door is closed.

8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDHAR s 1975 I 3719.380 SHEETl0F3 I Im enmr. Hans D. Wafermann PAILr-HLW 61975 3.719.380

SHEET 2 or 3 ln'ren/ar: Hans D Wafermann PATENTEB B Z-173 sum 3 or 3 lnvenfar. Hans D. Wafermann MOTOR-VEHICLE DOOR LATCH WITH PIVOTAL LATCHING FORK FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a latch arrangement for use on a motor-vehicle door. More specifically, this invention concerns such a latch of the so-called boltand-fork type wherein a vertically extending fork is rotatable about a horizontal axis to receive and lockingly hold a horizontal bolt extending from a doorpost or from the motor-vehicle body.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Such latches are known which have a housing formed in the edge of the vehicle door, so that the fork is received in a channel in this door edge. To this end the fork is mounted on the end of a lock-actuating pin which is, therefore, only joumaled on one side of the fork, and the locking detent works by preventing rotation of this pin. Such a construction makes it necessary to recess much of the latch-actuating mechanism in the door, which in turn requires extreme density and complexity of the mechanism in order to allow room for the window and window-operating mechanism. Sealing the edge of a door against moisture, etc., in the presence of such an installation becomes very difficult. What is more, the latch is not strong or highly resistant to shock, so that it can spring open in a collision.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved latch arrangement of the abovedescribed general type.

Other objects are to provide a strong and safe latch of inexpensive and simple construction which allows the door edge to be sealed simply.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I attain these objects, in accordance with thepresent invention, with a latch having a housing which projects from the door edge and which is formed from a statically interconnected cover plate and a V-shaped channel member having a pair of parallel and horizontal legs attached with the plate to the door edge. A lock element or fork is rotatable into a position holding the doorpost-mounted bolt in a horizontally open notch formed in the vertical web bridging the legs of the channel. Means is provided in the form of a rotatable detent pin for releasably retaining the fork in the locking position. Another pin serves as the horizontal pivot axis for the latching element, and each is journaled on one side in the cover or back plate and on the other side in the web between the legs of the U-shaped member.

According to another feature of the present invention, a resilient body is provided within the channel and forms, with the pivotal latching element, a slightly resilient pocket to hold the latch bolt very tightly.

In accordance with another feature the notch in the web is located between the two pins which serve as a bearing point and a detent for the latch fork so that extremely great forces can be withstood by the latch arrangement. At the same time, the upper pin which serves to retain the element in the locked position is formed with a lateral notch such that when it is rotated into a predetermined angular position relative to the latch element, the free end of this element can pass through the notch, thereby unblocking the bolt. In another angular position the upper latch pin very effectively blocks the latch element while only a minor torque need be exerted to rotate this pin and free the element. v

A latch so made is relatively simple. It has a mere handful of moving parts which coact in the simplest manner possible. Such a latch is extremely robust and has a very long service life. At the same time, the only mechanism needed within the vehicle door is that which serves to rotate the latch pin, and the lockcylinder arrangement usually associated with this mechanism. It presents very little difficulty to provide one basic lock structure with several different interchangeable latch forks to allow use with differently dimensioned bolts. This bolt is, by the way, provided with an enlarged head that makes it virtually impossible for the door to be sprung open. Furthermore, sealing of the door edge is accomplished by the cover plate and DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The above and other objects, features and advantages will become apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying-drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a door latch accordin to the present invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are sections along lines II II and III III of FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively;

FIG. 4 is another embodiment of the latch arrangement according to the present invention in a view similar to thatof FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a detail view of yet another embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a latch housing according to another feature of the invention.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION As shown in FIG. 1, a motor vehicle has a door 1 with an edge 1a and an outer surface 2, and a body 6 having an edge 6a that confronts the edge 1a when the door 1 is closed. On the outer surface 2 of the door 1 there is provided the usual lock cylinder 2b and a handle 2a adapted to be pulled outwardly (arrow A) fromv the door to unlatch it. A bolt 5 having an enlarged head 5a (FIG. 2) is solidly fixed to the edge 6a of the body 6 and extends toward the edge la when the door 1 is closed.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show that a latch arrangement having a housing 3 is provided on the edge 1a of the door l.

This housing comprises a U-shaped channel member having a pair of parallel and horizontal U-legs 8 and 9 joined together by a flat vertical web 10, with a flat ver? tical backing plate 7 bridging the free ends of the legs 8 and 9 and forming therewith a static structure resembling a box girder. All of this housing 3 is made of steel which is formed by deep-drawing into the boxlike shape shown. A horizontally opening V-shaped notch 4 with a rounded base is formed in the web 10. This notch 4 is in line with the bolt 5 and is adapted to receive the shank 5b of this bolt with the door closed.

A two-armed lever or fork 11 is provided within the housing 3. This fork 11 has two arms 11a and 11b which give it a U-shape and together define a pocket 112 which is adapted to snugly engage the bolt shank 11b. A horizontal pivot pin 12 has an end 120 of reduced diameter journaled in a bore b in the web 10 and-another end 12b of reduced diameter journaled in a bore 7b of the backing plate 7. This pin 12 passes through the fork 11 below the pocket lle and holds the fork 11 against the web 10 by means of a flange portion 12c.

Another pin 13 is provided above the pin 12, with one end 13a of reduced diameter journaled in a bore 100 in the web 10 and a portion 13b of reduced diameter passing through a bore 7a in the plate 7. Both pins 12 and 13 act as stiffening elements in the boxlike housing 3. The central section 13c of the pin 13 is of larger diameter than either of its portions 13a or 13b and is formed with a laterally open notch 14 which is cut out almost to a diameter of the pin 13, as shown in FIG. 3. This pin 13 is rotatable and carries onits end 13b a lever 13c connected to a door handle 20, and also, through means not shown, to the handle 20. Actuation of either of the handles 2a or rotates the pin 13. T

Mounted against the plate 7 and next to the fork 11 is a resilient body 17 of synthetic rubber. This body 17 is of square cross section and, as shown in FIG. 3, is trapezoidal with an inclined edge 17a provided with'a steel shield 16 extending at around 15 to the horizontal and placed to provide a resilient abutment for the head 5a of the bolt 5. Another plate 16a is provided which is held by means of screws 16b to the web 9.

The latch functions as follows:

As long as the door 1 is open, the fork 11 is in the position shown in FIG. 1 and in dot-dash lines in FIG. 3. As the door is closed, the shank 5b of the bolt 5 will engage a rounded end surface 1 1 f of the fork arm 11b and start to rotate the fork 11 back on its pivot 12 clockwise (as shown in FIG. 3). As the fork rotates back this way into the housing 3, the end of arm 11b will strike the inside surface 13d of the cutout 14 and rotate the pin 13 slightly counterclockwise. Finally, the very end of the arm 11a wills'trike the inside of this notch 14 and rotate the pin 13 slightly counterclockwise until a rounded surface 1 1d of a notch 110 in the end of the arm 11a passes beyond the thickened portion 130. At this moment the pin 13, under the force of a spring (not shown), will rotate back into the position shown in FIG. 3, and engage against the rounded surface 11d, absolutely preventing counterclockwise rotation of the fork 1 1, with surface contact. Simultaneously the head 5a of the bolt 5 engages the plate 16, compressing the body 17, and the shank 5b of this bolt will come snugly to rest in the pocket 11e. In this position the bolt 5 is very tightly gripped, and the fork 11 is anchored securely on both sides of the notch 4 with the arm 1 la completely barring the bolt 5 in this notch 4. To open the door, one of the handles 2a or 20 is actuated to rotate the pin 13 counterclockwise until the notch 14 clears the end of arm 11a. To this end it is imbetween the centers of pins 12 and 13. The bolt 5 cannot pull axially out of the housing 3 due to its head 5a being wider than the notch 4 nor can itmove to the right, up or down, (as seen in FIG. 3) due to the notch 4, nor can its removal to the left be effected as long as the arm 1 1a blocks the way. Avery secure latch is thus produced. Furthermore, since the pin 13 here requires rotation to open the latch, rotation in one sense about an axis substantially parallel to the vehicle direction of travel, it is highly unlikely that a blow from the outside will spring it. Any minor change in tolerances due to wear will be taken up by the synthetic-rubber body 17. The surface 1 1f has the same radius of curvature as the portion 130 of pin 13 so that if the handle 20 is not actuated for a long enough time this surface 1 1 f will come to rest on the pin 13 and will there hold the door only partly open. Inadvertent complete opening of the door is thus avoided.

In FIGS. 1-3, the U-shaped member 8, 9, 10 is merely riveted to the plate 7 which is itself riveted to the inside surface of the door edge la. In FIG. 4, each leg 8 and 9 is provided withan. outwardly extending flange 19-which is clamped by screws 19 to the backing plate 7'. In this case the screws 19 pass first through the door edge In, then through the flanges 18, and finally into the tapped plate 7'. In all cases, the door edge is formed with an aperture 1b so that substantially all of the housing 3 projects from the door.

Finally, FIG. 5 shows an alternative embodiment having a flat hook 23 which is pivoted on a pin 13 cor-. responding essentially to the pin 13 of FIGS. 1-4. The hook 23 has a flat surface mating with the flat face 1 1d of an arm-11a of a fork element essentially identical otherwise to the element 1 1 heretofore described. The free end of the hook 23 is formed with a camming surface 13e' adapted to coact with the end of arm 11a to allow the surface 11d, which in the engaged position lies on a tangent to a circle centered on the pin 13', to engage flat against the hook face. A spring 24 is provided to urge the hook 23 down.

The static strength of the system is increased by virtue of the fact that the plate 7 and web 10 are held against inward movement by their abutment against shoulders of the members 12 and 13 and against outward displacement by the heads 12a, 12b, the former being countersunk. In FIG. b, we show a pot-shaped, deep-drawn unitary housing 30 with upper and lower walls 31 and 32 corresponding to the shanks 8 and 9 and constituting a U-section in vertical cross section with the web or outer wall 33. The latter and the inner wall 34 are cut away to receive the bolt 5, while the other wall 35 is intact. The cover plate and the attachment flanges have been broken away in FIG. 6, the structure of which, with respect to the fork, bolt, latch, etc. corresponds to that of FIG. 1.

The improvement described and illustrated is believed to admit of many modifications within the ability of persons skilled in the art, all such modifications being considered within the spirit and scope of the invention except as limited by the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A latch arrangement comprising:

a housing including a U-shaped member having a pair of horizontally extending legs attached to an edge of motor-vehicle door, a vertical flat web interconnecting said legs and formed with a boltreceiving notch, and a pair of outwardly bent flange feet each extending from a respective leg and each formed with at least one throughgoing hol'e, said housing projecting from the door edge with said web fully removed therefrom;

a flat vertical backing plate extending between said legs and lying against said feet;

at least two bolts each passing through a respective hole in a respective foot, through said plate, and through said door edge;

a horizontal bolt mounted on a motor-vehicle body and receivable in said notch;

a lock element in said housing between said legs rotatable about a horizontal axis to one side of said notch into a position lockingly holding said bolt in said notch;

a resilient wedgelike body in said housing attached to the leg to the other side of said notch and provided with a metal plate engageable with said bolt when same is fully received in said notch; and

means for releasably retaining said element in said position. v

2. The arrangement defined in claim 1 comprising a pair of horizontal pins flanking said notch and journaled at one end in said web and at another end in said plate, said lock element being mounted on one of said pins and the other of said pins being formed as a detent and thereby constituting part of said means.

3. The arrangement defined in claim 2 wherein said other pin is formed with a lateral notch permitting, in a predetermined angular position of said other pin, passage of said element past said other pin and, in another predetermined angular position of said other pin, blocking passage of said element therepast.

.4. The arrangement defined in claim 2 wherein said lock element is a fork with a pair of arms defining a bolt-receiving packet horizontally al'ignable with said notch.

5. The arrangement defined in claim 4 wherein in a closed and locked position of said door said bolt is surrounded on three sides by said notch and on a remaining side by one of said arms, said one arm being in said closed and locked position braced against said other 6. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein said pins are substantially parallel and relatively vertically spaced. 7

7. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein said bolt has an enlarged head wider than said notch to prevent axial mutual disengagement from said door in a closed position of same.

8. The latch arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein said legs are parallel and orthogonal to said feet and to said web, said door edge being formed with an aperture, said housing extending through said aperture with said feet and said backing plate being inside said door.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2476333 *Nov 9, 1944Jul 19, 1949Atwood Vacuum Machine CoAutomobile door latch mechanism
US3206240 *Jul 15, 1963Sep 14, 1965John H RoethelDoor lock
US3432198 *Jun 27, 1967Mar 11, 1969Ford Motor CoLatch mechanism
DE1812528A1 *Nov 27, 1968Oct 16, 1969Aisin SeikiTuerschlossvorrichtung
FR1021024A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4580823 *Jun 29, 1983Apr 8, 1986Nissan Motor Company, LimitedLock arrangement for a vehicle sliding door
US4690296 *Oct 17, 1986Sep 1, 1987Kaiser Aerospace & Electronics CorporationOpen flow valve assembly
US4824151 *Nov 19, 1986Apr 25, 1989Taylor Lock Company Ltd.Door lock
US4986576 *Apr 16, 1990Jan 22, 1991The Hartwell CorporationLocking door latch
US5069491 *Jan 29, 1990Dec 3, 1991The Eastern CompanyVehicle door lock system
US6694676 *Dec 12, 2001Feb 24, 2004Mazda Motor CompanyCenter-matched double hinged door assembly for vehicles
US20060096855 *Nov 5, 2004May 11, 2006Richard NewcombCathode arrangement for atomizing a rotatable target pipe
US20070039535 *Mar 31, 2006Feb 22, 2007Michael ReillyApparatus for Attaching a Pontoon to a Watercraft
Classifications
U.S. Classification292/216
International ClassificationE05B65/12, E05B65/32
Cooperative ClassificationE05B85/26, E05B77/04
European ClassificationE05B85/26
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 14, 1981AS01Change of name
Owner name: ARN, KIEKERT SOHNE
Owner name: KIEKERT GMBH & CO. KOMMANDITGESELLSCHAFT
Effective date: 19800611