(12) United States Patent ao) Patent No.: us 6,247,744 Bi
Townsend et al. (45) Date of Patent: Jun. 19,2001
(54) STRUCTURALLY INTEGRATING MEMBERS BETWEEN VEHICLE BODIES AND CLOSURES
(75) Inventors: John A. Townsend; Mohamed
El-Sayed, both of Bloomfield Hills, MI
(73) Assignee: Joalto Design, Inc., Southfield, MI
( * ) Notice: Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this patent is extended or adjusted under 35 U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
(21) Appl. No.: 09/169,330
(22) Filed: Oct. 9, 1998
(51) Int. C I. B60J 5/00
(52) U.S. CI 296/146.11; 296/202; 16/388
(58) Field of Search 296/146.11, 202;
(56) References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
905,201 * 12/1908 Magnusen 16/388
1,257,572 * 2/1918 Appleby 16/388 X
1,612,656 * 12/1926 Salin 16/368 X
2,144,863 * 1/1939 Webber 296/146.11 X
2,167,585 * 7/1939 Mulvaney 16/364
2,211,581 * 8/1940 Ross 16/364
3,819,228 6/1974 Cornacchia .
4,131,969 * 1/1979 Suska 16/388
4,133,114 * 1/1979 Roach 16/388 X
4,881,298 * 11/1989 Turnbull 296/146.11 X
5,378,036 1/1995 Townsend .
5,806,917 * 9/1998 Townsend 296/146.11 X
A vehicle component sub-assembly having self-aligning appropriately fitted structural members is disclosed wherein a closure member, such as a vehicle door, hood or trunk is integrated with and becomes a structural part of a vehicle body. The sub-assembly includes mating components wherein a first mating component is mounted to the vehicle body and a second mating component is mounted to the closure member in such a manner that the first and second mating components become substantially aligned and structurally engaged with one another. The first mating component includes at least one structural key member formed thereon and the second mating component has a complementary mating receptacle therein. When the first and second mating components are aligned into interlocking engagement, the structural key members and mating receptacles are thereby structurally integrating the vehicle body and the closure member. The structural key members and mating receptacles may be used with a number of vehicle component sub-assemblies such as door hinges and latches on doors; hoods, trunks, liftgates and deck lids.
2 Claims, 16 Drawing Sheets