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Publication numberUS3848911 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 19, 1974
Filing dateMar 7, 1973
Priority dateMar 8, 1972
Publication numberUS 3848911 A, US 3848911A, US-A-3848911, US3848911 A, US3848911A
InventorsKleefeldt F, Watermann H
Original AssigneeKiekert Soehne Arn
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Motor vehicle door latch
US 3848911 A
Abstract
A motor-vehicle latch has a U-shaped housing whose legs are secured to a cover plate bridging the legs, e.g. on a door edge, and whose web is formed with a laterally open notch which receives a bolt extending from a doorpost when the door is closed. A bifurcate lock pawl is pivoted in the housing and has a pair of arms which straddle the bolt in the closed position of the door. A keeper engages one of the arms of the pawl to hold the door closed. A pair of ramps which converge, in the direction of door closure toward a plane including the bolt axis as the door is closed receive the bolt head as soon as it enters the notch and guide this bolt continuously back into the throat of the latch. The bolt only strikes one of the arms and is straddled by the arms without engagement of the bolt in the bight of the pawl. The ramps can be supported against the legs of the housing on elastomeric cushions and are formed of a synthetic resin.
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United States Patent [191 Watermann et al.

MOTOR VEHICLE DOOR LATCH Inventors: Hans-Dieter Watermann,

Metzkausen; Frank Kleefeldt, Heiligenhaus, both of Germany Assignee: Arn. Kiekert Sohne, Heiligenhaus,

Germany Filed: Mar. 7, 1973 Appl. No.: 338,816

Foreign Application Priority Data Mar. 8, 1972 Germany 1. 2211161 Apr. 18, 1972 Germany 2218734 'u.s. Cl. 292/216, 292/341.12

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1965 Roethel 292/341.l2 X 3/1968 Velavicius. 3/1969 Connor 292/216 [11] 3,848,911 Nov. 1 9, 1974 Primary Examiner-Richard E. Moore Attorney, Agent, or Firm-l(arl F. Ross; Herbert Dubno [5 7] ABSTRACT A motor-vehicle latch has a U-shaped housing whose legs are secured to a cover plate bridging the legs, e.g. on a door edge, and whose web is formed with a laterally open notch which receives a bolt extending from a doorpost when the door is closed. A bifurcate lock pawl is pivoted in the housing and has a pair of arms which straddle the bolt in the closed position of the door. A keeper engages one of the arms of the pawl to hold the door closed. A pair of ramps which converge, in the direction of door closure toward a plane including the bolt axis as the door is closed receive the bolt head as soon as it enters the notch and guide this bolt continuouslyback into the throat of the latch. The bolt only strikes one of the arms and is straddled by the arms without engagement of the bolt in the bight of the pawl. The ramps can be supported against the legs of the housing on elastomeric cushions and are formed of a synthetic resin.

11 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures 'PATENIE rmv 1 91914 SHEET 1 OF 5 PATENTEL 1 9W 3,848.91 1

sum nor 5 MOTOR VEHICLE DOOR LATCH CROSS REFERENCE TO COPENDING APPLICATION The application is related to the commonly owned copending application Ser. No. 220,037 filed Jan. 24, 1972, now US. Pat. No. 3,781,045 issued Dec. 25, 1973.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to a latch and more particularly, to a door latch for use on a motor vehicle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A common type of motor-vehicle door latch has a U- shaped housing whose legs are attached to a door edge. The web of this housing is formed with a notch into which a bolt extending from the vehicle doorpost is received when the door is closed. Between the housing web and the door edge there is a disposed bifurcate locking pawl which is carried on a pin pivoted in the web and in the cover plate. A keeper is pivotal to engage an arm of the pawl so as to retain the bolt in the notch. Mechanism is provided to operate the keeper by pivoting it to release the pawl and allow the door to be opened.

As a general rule the bolt strikes against the throat of the pivotal pawl and then pivots this pawl back past the keeper. As the pawl is pivoted the door is cammed either upwardly or downwardly, depending on whether. the pawl pivot is above or below its throat. This deflection inevitably increases the requisite closing force of the door. Due to the extra force required and to the impact of the bolt on the pawl s throat, the closing of the door is attended by a considerable amount of noise.

Another disadvantage of such doors is that the door hinges are constantly taxed by the deflection of the door as it closes, so that these hinges may become loose. Also the, door deflection applies unnecessary strain upon the latch. In addition it is relatively simple for car thief to open such a door by inserting a flat hook to depress the keeper and free the pawl.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved motor-vehicle door latch.

Another object is to provide such a latch which closes easily and quietly.

Yet another object is the provision of such a latch which has a long service life and is inexpensive to manufacture.

A further object is to provide a latch which cannot be forced open as easily as the above-described prior-art latches.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I attain these objects according to the present invention in a latch of the above-described general type wherein the bolt is guided into the notch between two resiliently deflectable and outwardly diverging inwardly converging ramps. The bolt as it pivots the pawl back does not ever engage the bight of the pawl, but merely pushes against the central region of one of these arms and is straddled thereby. At least one of the ramps provides resilient support for the bolt from the point at which it enters the latch until its final position in which it is straddled by the arms of the pawl and the latter is secured by the keeper.

Such a lock is quiet and operates extremely easily. Since it does not strike the bight of the pawlto pivot is around, the door is-not cammed up or down and less force is needed to close it. In addition, due to the straight-line, path followed by the bolt, the latch can be relatively lightly constructed and still have a long service life.

Accordingto another feature of this invention the ramp over the guide adjacent the keeper has a skirt which completely covers this keeper, preventing entry of a tool for opening the door without the key. Thus such a latch is extremely difficult to force.

In accordance with the invention the locking bolt engages the two ramps as soon as it enters the notch in the housings web. These ramps guide the bolt back past the pawl into the base of the notch. At no time does the bolt engage the. web of the housing, since the notch is made larger than the, outwardly flaring opening formed by the ramps so that the door closes extremely quietly, the only contact being that of the bolt against the arm of the pawl with the keeper latching into place behind the pawl to lock it.

' DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The above and other objects, features, and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing in which:

FIG. I is a vertical axial section through a first embodiment of the latch according to the present invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3iare. sections taken along lines II II t SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION As seen in FIGS. 1-3 a motor-vehicle latch has a housing 1' formed of a web 27 from which extend two planar and flat legs 2 and 2". A cover plate 3 bridges flanges 28 extending outwardly from the legs 2 and 2" and is adapted to be secured to the edge of a motorvehicle door 29. The web 27 is formed with a laterally open notch 11 whose inside edges diverge outwardly and converge inwardly. A bolt 12 secured to a motorvehicle doorpost 30 is adapted to enter the notch 11 with clearance in the direction of convergence of the edge thereof.

A stepped steel pin 4 extends axially between the plate B and the web 27. Pivotal on this pin between a shoulder 31 thereon and the web 27 is a bifurcate pawl 32 having a pair of arms 5 and 6 defining a throat 7. The leg 5 is formed: with a notch 33 into which a projection 34 of a keeper 8 is engageable, as described in the aforementioned copending application Ser. No. 220,037 filed Jan. 24,, 1972. Means 35 is provided as described in that application for rotating this keeper 8 to free the pawl 32 and allow the latch to open.

A unitarily injection molded inherently resilient body 36 is received between the web 27 and cover plate 3 and formed with a pair of ramps 9 and 10 which guide the bolt 12 along the straight path shown by arrow 13. These ramps 9 and 10 are symmetrical about a plane P lying along the direction 13 and the center axis A of the bolt in the closed position shown in FIG. 3. In this manner as the bolt enters the housing 1 in direction 13 it is received in a mouth formed by the ramps 9 and 10 and guided into the latch without deflection either up or down. This insures a quiet and smooth latching of the door.

The synthetic-resin body 36 need not be a solid block, but can be largely hollow. It is formed by injection molding with a chamber 37 in which a spring 38 bears on a pin 39 extending axially from the pawl 32 so as to bias this pawl in the clockwise direction, into the open position, shown in FIG. 2 in broken lines. In addition the body is formed below the lower ramp 10 with a chamber 14 and above the upper ramp 9 with a chamber 14" into which rubber or other molded elastomeric bodies 15' and 15", respectively, are fitted. The bolt 12 has an enlarged head 18 which engages these surfaces 9 and 10 and deflects them outwardly from the plane P against their cushions l and 15', respectively, as this bolt 12 moves along plane P from the broken-line position of FIG. 2 to the solid-line position. The housing 1 is formed with a bent-over back wall 40 formed with an opening 41 which accommodates the leg 6 of the pawl 32 in its closed position. This back wall'40 supports the body 36 so that it is not pushed out of the housing 1 as the door is closed. In addition a third elastomeric cushion 17 is provided at the base of the throat of the latch so that the latch comes to rest with the bolt head 18 resting against it. The lower ramp acts as a shield 16 for the keeper 8 so that this element is only exposed at the place where it meets the pawl 32 in order that unauthorized opening of the latch by operation of the keeper from without is almost impossible. Even if only one of the ramps 9, 10 is provided, it can be arranged to give the necessary theft protection.

Instead of forming the body 36 as a single integral piece as in FIGS. 1-3 it is possible as shown in FIG. 4 to form it of two separate pieces 36a and 36a". In this embodiment also the piece 36a above the plane P is not provided with a cushion, but relies on its own inherent elasticity to cushion the head 18 of the bolt 12.

The embodiment of FIG. 5 is identical to that of FIGS. 1-3 except that here the body 36b is formed with a nonintegral shield 16b forming the lower ramp 10. A cushion b in a chamber 14b under this shieldlfib is keyed into the lower half of the body 36b at 42. In addition the bolt 12b here has a head 18b formed with a pair of converging flanks 18b and 18b" having the same inclination relative to the plane P as the ramps 9 and 10.

In this manner the ramps 9 and 10 wear more evenly and an extremely solid seating of the head 18b between them is insured.

In FIG. 6 the same system as that of FIG. 5 is used, except that the upper ramp is formed of an independent ramp member 43 under which a cushion 15c in a space is provided. Thiscushion 15c is keyed into the body 360.

In all of the above embodiments the bolt 12 never comes to rest in the throat or'crotch 7 between the two. arms 5 and 6. In this manner the bolt strikes the inside of the arm 6 adjacent its end and pivots the pawl 32 around, at the same time riding up the arm toward the ill crotch 7. When the bolt finally comes to rest, in the FIG. 2 solid-line position, it is still spaced away from the base 7 of the gap between the legs 5 and 6, and is wedged between the ramps 9 and 10, the leg 5, and the rear cushion '17. It is in contact with only one of the legs 5 for tightest fit. Thus there is no harsh click as the bolt strikes the pawl at the crotch between the two arms as is the case in prior-art latches of this general type.

The embodiment of FIGS. 79 shows an arrangement wherein the lower ramp 10 is extended as a shield 16 which is provided with axially extending lugs 20 received in bores 21 in the cover plate 3. In addition a back cushion 17d is provided which is keyed into the body 36d at 26.

The shield 16 covers the pivot pin 19 of the keeper 8 which has its one end received in a sleeve or cup 22 in turn received in a bore 44 formed in the web 27. The shield is formed at 25 with a sleeve-like projection which guides the keeper 8 in the cover plate 3 so that noise is reduced to a minimum and wear is decreased. The shield 16 extends over the end of the housing 1 below the keeper 8 with an extension 23 forming an integral part of the portion 24 constituting the ramp 10. Again the body 36d is made of a tough synthetic resin such as Nylon, a polyamide, and is fonned by injection molding.

I claim:

I. A latch for a door engageable with a doorpost, said latch comprising:

a bolt extending from said doorpost and having an axis;

a U-shaped housing on said door having a flat central web formed with a laterally open notch and two flat legs extending from said web toward said door;

a cover plate bridging said legs of said housing;

a pivot pin extending axially between said web and said plate;

a pivotal flat locking pawl on said pin having a pair of arms separated by a bight, said bolt being engageablewith one of said arms adjacent said bight to pivot said pawl;

a keeper pivoted between said web and said plate and engageable with at least one of said arms to prevent pivoting of said pawl in one direction to retain said bolt behind said pawl in said notch; and

a pair of outwardly resiliently deflectable ramps between said plate and said web and next to said pawl, said ramps converging toward a plane de- 1 scribed by the axis of said bolt in the direction of insertion thereof, said bolt being engageable with both of said ramps on entrance along said plane into said notch, said ramps being in continuous engagement with said bolt throughout the movement thereof in said housing and said pawl being dimensioned to prevent engagement of said bight with said bolt.

2. The latch defined in claim 1 wherein saidramps are provided directly against said plate.

3. A latch for a door engageable with a doorpost, said latch comprising:

a bolt extending from said doorpost and having an axis;

a U-shaped housing on said door having a flat central web formed with a laterally open notch and two flat legs extending from said web toward said door;

a cover plate bridging said legs of said housing;

a pivot pin extending axially between said web and said plate;

a pivotal flat locking pawl onsaid pin having a pair of arms separated by a bight, said bolt beingengageable with one of said arms adjacent said bight to pivot said pawl;

a keeper pivoted between said web and said plate and engageable with at least one of said arms to prevent pivoting of said pawl in one direction to retain said bolt behind said pawl in said notch; and

a pair of outwardly resiliently deflectable ramps between said plate and said web and next to said pawl, said ramps converging toward a plane described by the axis of said bolt in the direction of insertion thereof, said bolt being engageable with both of said ramps on entrance along said plane into said notch, said bolt being formed with an enlarged head, said head being engageable with said ramps, said head being formed with a pair of flanks converging in said direction and flatly engageable with said ramps.

4. A latch for a door engageable with a doorpost, said latch comprising:

a bolt extending from said doorpost and having an axis;

a U-shaped housing on said door having a flat central web formed with a laterally open notch and two flat legs extending from said web toward said door;

a cover plate bridging said legs of said housing;

a pivot pin extending axially between said web and said plate;

a pivotal flat locking pawl on said pin having a pair of arms separated by a bight, said bolt being engageable with one of said arms adjacent said bight to pivot said pawl;

a keeper pivoted between said web and said plate and engageable with at least one of said arms to prevent pivoting of said pawl in one direction to retain said bolt behind said pawl in said notch; and

a pair of outwardly resiliently deflectable ramps between said plate and said web and next to said pawl, said ramps converging toward a plane described by the axis of said bolt in the direction of insertion thereof, said bolt being engageable with both of said ramps on entrance along said plane into said notch, said latch further comprising a shield extending over said keeper and laterally covering same, said shield being at least partially formed as a sleeve, said keeper being pivotal in said sleeve.

5. A latch for a door engageable with a doorpost, said latch comprising;

a bolt extending from said doorpost and having an axis;

a U-shaped housing on said door having a flat central web formed with a laterally open notch and two flat legs extending from said web toward said door;

a cover plate bridging said legs of said housing;

a pivot pin extending axially between said web and said plate;

a pivotal flat locking pawl on said pin having a pair of arms separated by a bight, said bolt being engageable with one of said arms adjacent said bight to pivot said pawl;

a keeper pivoted between said web and said plate and engageable with at least one of said arms to prevent pivoting of said pawl in one direction to retain said bolt behind said pawl in said notch; and

a pair of outwardly resiliently deflectable ramps between said plate and'said web and next to said pawl, said ramps converging toward a plane described by the axis of said bolt in the direction of insertion thereof, said bolt being engageable with both of said ramps on entrance along said plane into said notch, said latch further comprising a shield extending over said keeper and laterally covering same, said shield being formed unitarily with one of said ramps and extending over said keeper to one of said legs of said housing.

6. A latch for a door engageable with a doorpost, said latch comprising:

a bolt extending from said doorpost and having a axis;

a U-shaped housing on said door having a flat central web formed with a laterally open notch and two flat legs extending from said web toward said door;

a cover plate bridging said legs of said housing;

a pivot pin extending axially between said web and said plate;

a pivotal flat locking pawl on said pin having a pair of arms separated by a bight, said bolt being engageable with one of said arms adjacent said bight to pivot said pawl;

a keeper pivoted between said web and said plate and engageable with at least one of said arms to prevent pivoting of said pawl in one direction to retain said bolt behind said pawl in said notch; and

a pair of outwardly resiliently deflectable ramps between said plate and said web and next to said pawl, said ramps converging toward a plane described by the axis of said bolt in the direction of insertion thereof, said bolt being engageable with both of said ramps on entrance along said plane into said notch, said latch further comprising at least one elastomeric cushion received between at least one of said ramps and the respective leg of said housing.

7. The latch defined in claim 6, further comprising at least one elastomen'c cushion fixed in said housing at the base of said notch.

8. The latch defined in claim 6 wherein said notch is slightly wider than and overlies the mouth formed by said ramps.

9. A motor-vehicle door latch comprising:

a housing of U-configuration comprising a vertical web, a pair of horizontal legs formed unitarily with said web, and a plate bridging said web legs, said web being formed with a slot opening along an edge of the web in the direction of a bolt receivable in said latch;

a bifurcated pawl pivotally mounted in said housing about an axis perpendicular to said web and at a location offset from the bight of said pawl, the arms of said pawl being constructed and arranged to straddle said bolt upon insertion thereof in said housing to an end position;

at least one resiliently deflectable guide ramp in said housing for intercepting said bolt substantially immediately upon such insertion and supporting same to and in said end position, the pawl being constructed and arranged to engage said bolt only along inner flanks of the arms thereof at locations spaced from said bight; and

flat and is disposed directly adjacent said web, said ramp being disposed between said pawl and said plate and lying directly adjacent the latter.

11. The latch defined in claim 10 wherein said bolt is provided with a shank and a head larger than said shank and adapted to ride upon said ramp whereby said shank engages only said arms of said pawl as said bolt moves through said housing into said end position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3206240 *Jul 15, 1963Sep 14, 1965John H RoethelDoor lock
US3371948 *Feb 9, 1966Mar 5, 1968Gen Motors CorpClosure latch
US3432198 *Jun 27, 1967Mar 11, 1969Ford Motor CoLatch mechanism
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4130308 *Aug 16, 1977Dec 19, 1978Wilmot-Breeden LimitedMotor vehicle door latches
US4172768 *Nov 30, 1977Oct 30, 1979Jacques CerdanAutomobile vehicle door lock
US4174129 *Jul 5, 1977Nov 13, 1979Massey-Ferguson Inc.Window latch
US4639040 *Nov 19, 1985Jan 27, 1987Tachikawa Spring Co., Ltd.Fixing device for a vehicle seat
US4896907 *Jan 17, 1989Jan 30, 1990Ohi Seisakusho Co., Ltd.Locking device for a vehicle
US5727825 *Oct 10, 1994Mar 17, 1998Rockwell Light Vehicle Systems (Uk) Ltd.Latch assembly
US5890755 *Oct 24, 1996Apr 6, 1999General Motors CorporationGlove box door latch assembly
US7025395 *Oct 9, 2003Apr 11, 2006Arvinmeritor Light Vehicle Systems (Uk) Ltd.Latch assembly and striker
US7306269Jun 13, 2003Dec 11, 2007Intier Automotive Closures S.P.A.Lock for a door of a motor vehicle
US8348309Jan 8, 2013Ford Global Technologies, LlcEnergy absorbing bumper for latch closing sound quality
US8376425Jul 31, 2009Feb 19, 2013Msd Stamping LlcAutomotive door striker
US9039048 *Jul 2, 2009May 26, 2015Johnson Controls Components GmbH & Co. KG.Locking mechanism for a vehicle seat
US9199554 *Jul 2, 2009Dec 1, 2015Keiper Gmbh & Co. KgLocking mechanism for a vehicle seat
US9422754 *Apr 1, 2014Aug 23, 2016Kiekert AgMotor vehicle door lock
US20040094969 *Oct 9, 2003May 20, 2004Fisher Sidney EdwardLatch assembly and striker
US20060087126 *Oct 11, 2005Apr 27, 2006Roussel Jerome PLatch assembly
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US20110006577 *Jul 2, 2009Jan 13, 2011Keiper Gmbh & Co. KgLocking mechanism for a vehicle seat
US20110012415 *Jul 2, 2009Jan 20, 2011Keiper Gmbh & Co. KgLocking mechanism for a vehicle seat
US20110025079 *Jul 31, 2009Feb 3, 2011Paskonis Almantas KAutomotive door striker
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DE102009016477A1 *Apr 6, 2009Oct 7, 2010Volkswagen AgLock for door or flap on motor vehicle, has door- or flap side arranged lock housing, on which rotary latch is rotationally supported, and car body side arranged locking bracket or locking bolt
WO2003106793A1 *Jun 13, 2003Dec 24, 2003Intier Automotive Closures S.P.A.A lock for a door of a motor vehicle
WO2008061366A1 *Nov 21, 2007May 29, 2008Magna Closures Inc.Anti-chuck feature in latch
WO2012018641A2Jul 26, 2011Feb 9, 2012Qualcomm IncorporatedSystems, methods, apparatus, and computer-readable media for multi-microphone location-selective processing
Classifications
U.S. Classification292/216, 292/341.12
International ClassificationE05B65/32, E05B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B17/0045, E05B85/26
European ClassificationE05B17/00K
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 14, 1981AS01Change of name
Owner name: ARN, KIEKERT SOHNE
Owner name: KIEKERT GMBH & CO. KOMMANDITGESELLSCHAFT
Effective date: 19800611