US 3735531 A
A sliding door is closed by a reversible power-driven slide, movable horizontally and having a hook normally coupled to a detent on the door for causing the door to move with the slide in a closing direction. A coupling hook pivoted on the slide, and spring loaded toward operative position, is retracted or uncoupled from the detent at the conclusion of the door closing movement by the engagement of a retracting lever arm on the hook with a fixed stop, thus releasing the door from the slide so that it may be subsequently manually opened. For opening of the door by remote control, a return or reverse movement of the slide, and its abutting engagement with the detent, transmits opening movement to the door while, at the same time, reengaging the hook for use in subsequently closing the door by remote control.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
trite States Patent 91 Kramer  REMOTE CONTROL MECHANISM F0 A SLIDING DOOR  Inventor: Wolfgang Kra'mer, Ribbesbuttel,
' Germany  Assignee: Volkswagenwerk, Aktiengesellschaft,
Wolfsburg, Germany  Filed: Feb. 24, 1971  Appl.No.: 118,339
 Foreign Application Priority Data Mar. 18, 1970 Germany ..P 20 12 832.9
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS I 3,261,128 7/1966 Slopa et al ..49/139 .51 May 29, 1973 3,439,454 4/1969 Stretton ..49/l39X Eben M.
[5 7 ABSTRACT A sliding door is closed by a reversible power-driven slide, movable horizontally and having a hook normally coupled to a detent on the door for causing the door to move with the slide in a closing direction. A coupling hook pivoted on the slide, and spring loaded toward operative position, is retracted or uncoupled from the detent at the conclusion of the door closing movement by the engagement of a retracting lever arm on the hook with a fixed stop, thus releasing the door from the slide so that it may be subsequently manually opened. For opening of the door by remote control, a return or reverse movement of the slide, and its abutting engagement with the detent, transmits opening movement to the door while, at the same time, reengaging the hook for use in subsequently closing the door by remote control.
12 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEU 3, 735, 531 SHEET 1 BF 3 4 Fig. 1
PATENTED MY 2 91975 SHEET 3 [1F 3 REMOTE CONTROL MECHANISM FOR A SLIDING DOOR This invention relates to an improved mechanism for the remote control of a sliding door.
Although intended primarily for use in the remote control of sliding vehicle 'doors, as for instance the doors of small panel delivery trucks, the invention is by no means restricted to this particular usage, but is adaptable for use with sliding doors of various types. For instance, the invention is adapted for use with a sliding door of the type exemplified in German Pat. No. 1,274,462, 68a 91. In 'one particularly advantageous application of the invention, the remote control of a sliding door on the body of a vehicle is capable of achievement from the drivers seat. An especially advantageous feature is that'after closing the door, the mechanism of the invention is automatically uncoupled or released from the door so that the latter may be releasably latched in closed position by a conventional manually operable latch, which latch may be made accessible from the exterior. This is of particular importance inthe event of an accident, as a result of which the remote controls are inaccessible, or the remote control mechanism is rendered inoperative.
In accordance with the invention, the door is slidable horizontally to and from open relation with respect to a'door opening in a structure with which it is associated. Along one of the horizontal edges of the opening is guided a slide which is reversibly driven in either horizontal direction along the door opening by conventional means, such as an electric drive motor and associated mechanism. During driven movement of this slide in a closing direction, the slide is automatically coupled to the door, to transmit closing movement to the latter and the coupling is automatically released by suitable means at the conclusion of the closing operation, so that the door may thereafter be manually opened, if desired. The coupling is achieved in the preferred embodiment by means of a hook pivoted on the slide and spring biased into operative engagement with a detent carried by the door. A stop. fixedly positioned on the structure adjacent the door opening is engaged by a release arm on the hook to pivot the latter to uncoupling or released position as the door reaches its closed position.
In accordance with a further feature of'the invention, the slide is provided with a portion adapted for abutting engagement with the detent on the return movement of the slide, or, in other words, on movement thereof in a direction to open the door, whereby to couple the door to the slide for opening movement, the hook at this time being automatically retracted by cam action for movement past the detent, thus to reengage it for a subsequent closing movement of the door.
Although in accordance with the preferred arrangement, the hook of the power driven slide is coupled to the door during closing movement and uncoupled at the completion of such movement, it may alternatively be arranged to be coupled to the door during the opening movement thereof and to be uncoupled atthe conclusion of such opening movement. Manifestly, if desired, dual such mechanisms may be arranged for alternate coupling to the door on its closing movement and on its opening movement, respectively, and for uncoupling at the conclusion of each such movement.
The drive means for the slide may constitute a wellknown mechanism such as a reversible electric motor driving a threaded'rotatable shaft which is in threaded engagement with the slide, for instance. Alternatively, the power driven mechanism may comprise a cable shifted from a remote location by a hand crank, as is known for sliding window arrangements by U.S. Pat. No. 3,209,412.
When the sliding door is of a conventional type, in which it moves outwardly away from the wall of the structure which defines the door opening, manifestly the power drive may be connected to the slide by suitable connecting means adapted to remain operative despite such movement.
In any event, the threaded drive rod or other means for transmitting driving motion to the slide may advantageously be concealed within the guide means or rail for the slide.
In the accompanying drawing, there is disclosed a preferred embodiment of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the preferred mode of practicing the invention, it being undersood that the invention is ca pable of other and different embodiments. Thus, in the accompanying drawing:
FIG. 1, is a side elevation of a sliding door of a vehicle having theinvention applied thereto, as seen from the interior of the vehicle;
FIG. 2, is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the mechanism for remotely controlling the sliding door of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial plan view of one embodiment of a drive mechanism for moving the slide along the guide rail;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view similar to FIG. 2, but showing an alternative construction of the power drive mechanism;
FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a sliding door of a vehicle having the invention applied to both the upper and lower edges thereof; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of a mechanism for remotely controlling the sliding door of FIG. 5 by coacting with the detent provided at the lower edge of the door.
The detailed structures of the vehicles parts for guidance and stopping of the sliding door are conventional and therefore are not illustrated herein.
Referring to FIG. 1, the sliding door illustrated therein, is adapted to close a door opening in the side of a small panel truck, and is provided with a conventional window 2. The numeral 3 designates a conventional manually controllable door latch for releasably retaining the door in its closed position. This includes an operating handle or lever 30.
Adjacent its upper horizontal edge, the sliding door has affixed thereto a bolt or detent 4, for releasable connection to a horizontally reversibly driven slide 7 to transmit movement from the slide to the door. As shown in FIG. 2, the bolt or detent 4 is fixedly supported from the door by a bracket 5 rigidly carried by the door. The slide 7 is guided in any suitable manner for horizontal movement along a guide rail 6, secured to the vehicle body and extending horizontally across the upper edge of the door opening.
The slide 7 preferably is power driven by conventional means, such as a threaded shaft 15 (FIG. 3), which is rotatably driven by a reversible electric motor 16 in threaded engagement with the slide, so as to be capable of selectively moving the slide in either direction as desired.
Pivotally carried by the slide at 8 is a hook 9 swingable horizontally about the pivot or fulcrum 8 and normally urged toward engagement with the detent 4 by a conventional spring 10. When the hook 9 operatively engages the detent 4, as shown in full lines in FIG. 2, it serves as a means to automatically couple the slide 7 to the door by way of the detent 4 and the bracket 5 to transmit closing movement from the slide to the door. Such closing movement is toward the left as seen in FIG. 2.
For opening the door through the driven slide 7, the slide is provided with an abutment in the form of an edge portion 1 1 positioned for engagement with the detent 4 during movement of the slide in a door opening direction, or toward the right as seen in FIG. 2. The retraction arm 12 of the lever is positioned for engagement with a stop 13 rigidly fixed to the vehicle body structure adjacent the door opening at a location in the path of the level arm so that as the door 1 approaches its closed position, the level arm 12 engages the stop 13 to retract the hook 9 so as to disengage it from the detent 4, in the manner shown in broken lines 9a in FIG. 2, so that the slide 7 may then continue with its movement toward the left for a slight distance if desired. While the door is at rest, the hook 9 will be and will remain disengaged from the detent 4 so that, if desired, the vehicle door 1 may be opened, without interference from the hook 9 by suitable manual actuation of the latch 3, either from the outside or inside of the vehicle. The lower surface 13a of the stop extends horizontally to slidably engage lever arm 12 and maintain the hook 9 in release position as it moves away from the detent 4.
In order that it may automatically reestablish the coupling between the slide 7 and the door, the hook 9 is provided with a sloping cam edge 14, which will cause it to be retracted against the action of the spring 10 as the hook 9 moves to the right past the detent 4, to thereafter be automatically reengaged by the action of the spring.
It will be apparent that instead of relying upon the abutment edge or surface 11 of the slide for remotely controlled opening of the door by engagement with detent 4, there may, if desired, be a further slide and hook such as shown in FIG. 2, the hook being directed in an opposite horizontal direction and cooperating with a stop 13, adjacent the opposite edge of the door. Thus, one hook and slide will be operative for closing the door and, the hook associated with the other slide will be operative for opening the door.
As mentioned, the power drive mechanism for the slide 7 may take the form of a cable driven by a hand crank. This is illustrated in FIG. 4, where like parts are indicated by primed numbers. A cable 17 is engaged with the slide 7 so as to shift it in either direction along the guide rail 6, thereby opening or closing the door, upon manipulation of the hand crank (not shown). The arrangement of the hand crank and cable may be as disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,209,412.
OPERATION OF THE INVENTION The mode of operation of the invention, which is believed to be readily apparent from the foregoing description, is briefly summarized as follows:
In the closed position of the door 1, the slide 7 is normally at rest to the left of the door and door opening, the hook 14 having been disengaged from the detent 4 by engagement of its release arm 12 with the stop 13 at the conclusion of the last closing operation.
To reopen the door, the latch 3 is first manually released by actuation of its usual operating lever or handle 3a. The slide 7 is then driven along rail 6 toward the right through energizing of its electrical driving motor. At the inception of such slide movement the hook 9 approaches the then stationary detent 4 and is retracted by engagement of its cam edge 14 with the detent to pass freely beneath the detent and then be springprojected for operative engagement therewith on the next ensuing door closing movement of the slide. The driving edge or abutment 11 of the slide then engages the detent-4, thus causing the door 1 to move toward the right, or, in other words, in an opening direction, together with the slide 7.
When opening movement of the door is completed, the movement of the slide 7 and the door is discontinued by deenergizing the driving motor, or in other suitable manner, leaving the hook 9 in operative position for engagement with the detent 4 for subsequently closing the door.
Closing of the door 1 is caused by energizing the driving motor for the slide 7 to cause the slide to travel in a reverse or closing direction toward the left, as seen in FIG. 2, so that the interengaged hook 9 and detent 4 by interlocking the slide and the door for movement together will move the door in a closing direction. As the door reaches closed position, the door latch 3 will normally be automatically actuated to retain the door in its closed position. During the last stage of such closing movement, the release lever arm 12 of the hook 9 engages the stop 13 and, during continued movement of the slide 7, the hook is retracted and disengaged from the detent 4 to permit continued movement of the slide 7 toward the left after the door is closed so that, if desired, it may subsequently be reopened manually following manual release of the door latch 3. On the other hand, if its automatic opening is desired, under remote control, the slide 7 is again moved toward the right in the manner above described.
Although in the present embodiment, the door operating mechanism of the invention has been illustrated, by way of example, for use in closing a door and then releasing it automatically to permit its subsequent manual opening, it will be readily apparent that such mechanism may be arranged in reverse manner for opening the door and then releasing it for subsequent closing. By the same token it will be readily apparent that, as described above, similar but oppositely operating mechanisms, in accordance with the invention, might be applied to the same door so that one will close and release the door while the other one will open and then release the door.
Although the drawings herein illustrates preferred embodiments of the invention, manifestly, the invention is capable of other and different embodiments and its details may be modified in various ways, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Having thus described my invention, I claim:
1. Remote control mechanism for a door guided for horizontal movement into and from closing relation to a door opening in the body of a vehicle, wherein the improvement comprises a driven slide; means supported from the vehicle body for guiding said slide for operative horizontal movement back and forth across said opening; a detent carried by said door in fixed relation thereto; a hook pivotally carried by said slide for operative engagement with said detent to couple said door to said slide for movement therewith; a retracting arm carried by said hook; and a stop carried by said vehicle body in the path of movement of said retracting arm for engagementby said arm to disengage said hook from said detent when said door has beenmoved to preselected location.
2. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 1, in which said detent comprises a bolt fixedly supported from the sliding door.
3. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 1, in which said stop includes a guide means for said retracting arm.
4. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 2,
r in which said hook is mounted for swinging movement in a horizontal plane about a perpendicular axis for operative engagement and disengagement with said bolt, said bolt extending perpendicularly across the path of said swinging movement, and which includes spring means for urging said hook in a direction for operative engagement with said bolt, saidstop and said retracting arm cooperating to swing said hook in a direction to re tract it from engagement with said bolt against the spring action.
5. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 4, in which said hook includes means defining a cam surface for operative engagement with said bolt, upon movement of said hook in a direction opposite to that in which it moves when it couples said door to said slide, to retract said hook, thereby allowing said hook to move past said bolt in said opposite direction,
whereby subsequent operative engagement of said hook with said bolt to couple said door to said slide may take place under the action of said spring means.
6. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 1, including driving means for said slide, said driving means including a threaded shaft mounted for rotation in threaded engagement with said slide.
7. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 1, including driving means for said slide, said driving means including a cable mounted for shifting movement in engagement with said slide.
8. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 6, in which said threaded shaft is disposed within said slide guiding means.
9. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 6, wherein said driving means includes a driving motor operatively connected with said threaded shaft for rotating the latter.
10. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 1, further comprising a second detent carried by said door in fixed relation thereto, a second slide and associated hook, retracting arm and stop, all as defined in claim 1, but with said second slide and associated hook, retracting arm, and stop being arranged to engage and disengage said second detent in opposite directions of movement, respectively, from those of said first hook.
11. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 1, in which said hook is positioned to establish an operative coupling with said door during movement of said slide in the direction to open said door.
12. Remote control mechanism as defined in claim 1 in which said hook is positioned to establish an operative coupling with said door during movement of said slide in a direction to close said door.
522 33 UNHED STATES PATENT ormcs @E'HFECATE ,CCRRECHCN Patent No. 3,735,531 Dated May 29, 1973 lnventofls) fgang Kramer It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 2, line 4 "vehicles" should read --=-vehicle-;
Column 3, line 21, "level" should read --lever-; Column 3, line 22, "level" should read -lever--; After the paragraph ending Column 3,, line 52, the following paragraph should be inserted: I
--Such an embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Figures 5 and 6, where like parts are indicated by like double primed numbers. A second bolt or detent U" is fixed to the door adjacent its lower horizontal edge by a bracket 5" rigidly attached to the door, Suitably, the second detent 4'' and bracket 5" may be located vertically below the upperdetent and bracket 5. A secon guide rail 6", slide 7", hook 9", retracting arm 12'', stop 13" and drive mechanism (e.g., threaded shaft 15'' and reversible motor 16'') are provided intassociation with the second detent t" and are of essentially the same configuration as the first set of components coacting with the stop t, except that they are reversed in arrangerr to provide for movement of the door in the opposite direction from that in which it is moved by the first set, with this arrangement, the door may be closed, for example, by means of the upper detent and drive mechanism and opened, for example, by means of the lower detent and drive-mechanism, In each direction of movement of the door, therefore, the hook 9 or 9" will be released from engagement with the detent 4 or '4" uponmovement of the door to the fully closed or opened position, as the case may be.--.
Signed and sealed this 12th day of February 1974..
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. C Attesting Officer MARSHALL N Commissioner of Patents L. l .s.