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HEADLINER AND SUNSHADE FASTENER
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED
This application relates to the following simulta-
neously filed patent applications: U.S. application Ser.
No. 204,663, for MOTOR VEHICLE BODY STRUC-
TURE FOR RECEIVING SNAP-FIT MODULAR
HEADLINER FASTENERS by James D. Dowd and
David M. Hilborn; U.S. application Ser. No. 204,662,
for ASSIST STRAP FOR A MODULAR HEAD-
LINER by James D. Dowd, David H. Hilborn, Mat-
thew J. Brown and Richard P. Bozyk; U.S. application
Ser. No. 205,139, for MODULAR HEADLINER AS-
SEMBLY by James D. Dowd and Darrel Hampton;
U.S. application Ser. No. 205,257, for SUNSHADE
WITH SNAP-FIT FASTENER by James D. Dowd,
David M. Hilborn, Roy Weilant and Abdolhossein R. 20
Lawassani; U.S. application Ser. No. 204,670, for AS-
SIST STRAP FOR A MOTOR VEHICLE by James
D. Dowd, David M. Hilborn, and Matthew J. Brown;
U.S. application Ser. No. 205,150, for SUNSHADE
FASTENER MODULE FOR USE WITH MODU- 25
LAR HEADLINER by James D. Dowd, David M.
Hilborn, Roy Weilant, and Abdolhossein R. Lawassani;
U.S. application Ser. No. 205,130, for FRONT LAMP
MODULE AND SUNSHADE SUPPORTS FOR
MODULAR HEADLINER by James D. Dowd, 30
David M. Hilborn, Roy Weilant, and Abdolhossein R.
Lawassani; U.S. application Ser. No. 205,265, for CON-
SOLE MOUNTED TO A HEADLINER by David
M. Hilborn and Stephen P. McGarry; U.S. application
Ser. No. 205,131, for MODULAR HEADLINER IN- 35
CLUDING A WIRE HARNESS by James D. Dowd,
Darrel Hampton, and Stephen P. McGarry.
The present invention relates to a multi-purpose snap- 40 in fastener for mounting a sunshade and a headliner to a body support member of a motor vehicle.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Numerous devices are known for mounting sun- 45 shades to the body structure of a motor vehicle. These various fastening devices typically include some method of mounting a pivot rod extending from the sunshade to the vehicle body structure. Often these devices require use of screws or other fasteners to com- 50 plete such assembly.
The herein described fastener serves multiple functions while requiring minimal effort for mounting. A pivot rod to which the sunshade is mounted is supported by a base which is secured to a cover. The cover 55 includes flexible legs which may be compressed to be . slid through an opening in the sheet metal structure of a vehicle such as an A-pillar inner. After insertion through the opening the legs flex outwardly to engage the backside of the sheet metal to secure the fastener in 60 position. Additionally the base of the fastener has upwardly extending centering arms for engaging each side of the opening in the sheet metal to appropriately position the fastener relative thereto. Furthermore, the cover of the fastener has a preselected size such that the 65 surfaces of the cover co-act with another opening in the sheet metal member to position the fastener and keep the fastener from being displaced in another direction.
To provide for an illuminated sunshade it is anticipated that conductive wire will extend through the visor rod out the end thereof. A torque fitting is provided at the end of the visor rod which also defines wire guide members providing a path for the wires to travel along the length of the rod into the interior of the fastener. A wire opening extending outwardly from the fastener below first sheet metal part such that wires may be connected to wire harness mounted to the headliner substrate.
Additionally the fastener includes an extending platform portion and the cover includes a bezel between which the substrate of the headliner may be mounted. A combination of ribs extending from the cover to the base is provided for allowing spaced apart positioning of the bezel and the platform and further acts to provide stability between the base and cover when assembled. Hence the headliner substrate is secured therebetween and consequently it is also evident that as the fastener is secured to the sheet metal of the motor vehicle, not only is the sunshade secured but the substrate of the headliner and anything attached thereto such as an entire modular headliner assembly, is secured to the body support structure of the motor vehicle.
In order to assure alignment as multiple fasteners are utilized various sized openings provided in the multiple sheet metal materials. The specifics of the alignment obtained through the use of multiple openings defined in various distinct sheet metal parts is described in a simultaneously filed patent application entitled "Motor Vehicle Body Structure for Receiving Snap-Fit Modular Headliner Fasteners".
It is anticipated that this fastener will be secured to the sunshade prior to assembly to the motor vehicle especially when it is desirable to assemble a combination of the sunshade and fastener. It is further anticipated that the fastener will be fastened to the sunshade and to the substrate of the modular headliner when it is desired to secure the combination of a modular headliner with a substrate to a motor vehicle. Hence the fastener will be utilized in combination with other appropriate elements depending on its desired end function.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to provide a combination headliner and sunshade fastener for mounting both a sunshade and a headliner to a motor vehicle.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a headliner fastener for mounting a headliner to a motor vehicle.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a sunshade fastener for mounting a sunshade to a motor vehicle.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a snap-fit fastener for mounting either a headliner or sunshade or both to the motor vehicle.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a safe, economical, reliable, easy to utilize fastener.
Other objects will be apparent from the description to follow and the appended claims.
The above objects are achieved according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention by the provision of a headliner and sunshade fastener for seeming the substrate of the headliner defining a substrate opening and a pivot rod extending from the sunshade to the body support members of the motor vehicle wherein the body support member define an opening. The fas20
tener includes a resilient base defining a rod opening of a first diameter with keyways and a generally planar bezel portion, said rod extending through the rod opening of the base and having the sunshade mounted to the rod on one side of the base and a torque fitting mounted 5 on the other side of the base. Said torque fitting has a cross section which when rotated from the angle at which the torque fitting may pass through the base is larger than the first diameter of the rod opening whereby the larger second diameter covers the keyway 10 in the rod opening. The cover is sized to receive the torque fitting and to fasten the rod, and includes flexible extending flanges which may be compressed to allow the cover and flanges to fit through the first opening and, when released, said flanges spring outwardly to 15 engage the body support member adjacent to the first opening. Means for securing the cover to the base with the cover extending through the substrate opening and the bezel engaging the substrate are additionally provided such that the substrate and pivot rod are secured to the vehicle body support member by the fastener.
Also disclosed is a snap-in fastener for securing the sunshade to the body structure of motor vehicle which defines an opening including a base defining a rod open- 2J ing of first size, a rod for securing a sunshade, said rod extending through the rod opening and including a retainer mounted about the rod and being larger than the rod opening, and a cover secured to the base to cover the end of the rod including the retainer, said 30 cover including a pair of flexible extending flanges sized to fit through the opening and to engage one side of the body structure adjacent the opening side and said cover including a platform portion to engage the other side of the body structure adjacent the opening whereby the 35 cover and base with the attached sunshade may be snapfit to the body structure.
Also disclosed is a headliner fastener for securing the substrate of a headliner which defines a substrate opening, to the body support members of a motor vehicle 40 wherein the body support member defines the first opening. A resilient base having a generally planar bezeled portion and a cover including flexible extending flanges which may be compressed to allow the cover and flanges to fit through the first opening and when 45 released to spring outwardly to engage the body support member adjacent the first opening are disclosed. Means are provided for securing the cover to the base with the cover extending through the substrate opening and the bezel engaging substrate whereby the substrate 50 is secured to the vehicle body support member.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a modular headliner assembly positioned adjacent the vehicle windshield 55 opening for assembly therethrough.
FIG. 1A is a perspective view of FIG. 1 taken at the indicated line.
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a modular headliner assembly and appropriate portions of the ve- 60 hide body structure.
FIG. 3 is a partially sectional end view of a sunshade/headliner fastener shown mounted in the vehicle.
FIG. 3A is a sectional view of a portion of the sunshade/headliner fastener taken in the direction of line 65 3A—3A of FIG. 3.
FIG. 3B is a sectional view of FIG. 3A taken at the indicated line.
FIG. 3C is a sectional view of FIG. 3A taken at the indicated line.
FIG. 4 is an exploded view of a headliner/sunshade fastener and vehicle parts to which it is assembled.
FIG. 4A is a side view of a sunshade fastener.
FIG. 5 is a top view of the vehicle body structure showing the mounting locations for a modular headliner.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
The invention will be described with reference to a specific embodiment or embodiments hereof. It is understood that this invention has applicability with minor modifications to many vehicle lines, body styles, trim levels and structures, and it is to be anticipated that various changes can be made to the disclosed embodiments within the spirit and scope of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a modular headliner assembly 10 about to be installed into motor vehicle 200. The motor vehicle is shown having windshield opening 20, left A-pillar 22 and right A-pillar 24. The modular headliner is mounted into the partially assembled vehicle through the windshield or other large window opening which could also be the rear window opening. In this manner, the body structure of the vehicle may be assembled prior to the modular headliner assembly being mounted thereto.
Modular headliner assembly 10 consists of all those components between the decorative interior surface of the headliner and the body structure of the vehicle. The modular headliner 10 must be appropriately configured such that when assembled, the modular headliner may be shipped, handled and installed in the vehicle and potentially mistreated during a portion of this process without having the interior surface damaged, without distortion or bending due to uneven stresses and without impacting the function of the various components thereof.
As may be specifically seen in FIGS. 1 and 1A, the headliner includes substrate 12 made from a material such as molded fiberglass, styrene, cardboard, a polymeric material, or as is otherwise as known in the art. Substrate 12 has mounted on the surface thereof a decorative covering or surface 16 which is the surface visible to an occupant of the finished vehicle. The opposite side of substrate 12 from that on which decorative surface 16 is mounted is the non-show surface, surface 14.
Left sunshade 40 and right sunshade 42 are mounted to the substrate by the use of left sunshade fastener 44 and right sunshade fastener 46.
Additionally shown as part of the modular headliner are assist straps 80 which are retained to the modular headliner by retainers 84 interacting with assist strap legs 82.
Also shown as a portion of modular headliner 10 is center console 50 which is shown secured within depressed portion 51 formed in the substrate to retainer 52. A mesh fastener 56 is shown located to extend upwardly from retainer 52.
Likewise, forward console 60 is shown mounted within depressed portion 61 formed in the headliner in combination with forward retainer 62. Forward retainer 62 includes an outwardly projecting area through which left inboard sunshade support 64 and right inboard sunshade support 68 extend. Appropriate retainers 66 and 70 are shown for securing the legs of the
inboard sunshade supports to hold the inboard sunshade supports in position.
Further shown as part of the modular headliner is wire harness 30 having a wire bundle 32, including a vehicle electrical connector 34 and a series of accessory 5 connectors 72 located adjacent each accessory requiring electrical connections. Complementary connectors 74 extend from each accessory and mate with accessory connectors 72 to form a completed wire harness. Vehicle electrical connector 34 is typically connected to a 10 mating connection extending from the vehicle body electrical system in an easy to access area such as one of the A-pillars.
Additionally it may be seen that the modular headliner wire harness is secured within substrate channels 15 31 such that the wire is maintained therein. Additionally, adhesive 36 may be placed over the wire bundle to secure the wire bundle within the channel. In this manner, the wires are protected from inadvertent contact with roof bows or other roof structure and the potential 20 for damage to the wires is avoided.
As may be seen in FIG. 1, the modular headliner assembly is about to be inserted into the vehicle for assembly thereto. The left and right sunshade fasteners, 44 and 46, extend upwardly and include legs for engag- 25 ing with the metal structure of the vehicle to mount the same thereto. Likewise, assist straps 80 have upwardly extending legs 82 which engage appropriate openings in the body structure to also secure the modular headliner to the vehicle. Furthermore, mesh fastener 56 may ap- 30 propriately interact with a corresponding mesh fastener to likewise secure the headliner to the body structure. Hence, the left and right sunshade fasteners and at least one of the two assist strap handles are used for securing the modular headliner assembly to the motor vehicle. 35 Furthermore, the mesh fastener of retainer 52 may likewise serve such a function. Also not to be ignored are the right inboard sunshade support and the left inboard sunshade support which also includes legs for engaging the sheet metal structure of the vehicle. 40
In order to assemble the modular headliner to the vehicle, the headliner is slid through a large window opening such as a windshield and placed in general position to which it is to be mounted. An operator then positions one of the sunshade fasteners to feel when the 45 fastener mates with an appropriate opening. The sunshade fastener is then snap-fit into the opening to mount that portion of the modular headliner. The same process is then followed with the other sunshade fastener, the assist straps and the inboard sunshade supports. In this 50 manner, the entire modular headliner may be snap-fit to the motor vehicle. Thereafter, an appropriate electrical connection is made at vehicle electrical connector 34 and the assembly process for the headliner is complete.
In FIG. 2 an exploded view of a modular headliner 55 about to be mounted to a vehicle body structure is shown. In this view it may be seen that modular headliner 10 incorporates many various subassemblies such that all the appropriate subassemblies are mounted to the modular headliner and such that may be readily 60 fastened to the vehicle body structure.
The wire harness 30 of the modular headliner assembly includes a series of accessory connectors 72 adapted to be connected to the appropriate electrical accessory mounted to the headliner. The wire harness assembly is 65 further shown slightly exploded from channels 31 formed in the substrate for securing the headliner wire harness therein. This wire harness assembly is shown
somewhat schematically and may, in fact, be located at different positions about the headliner, such positions being chosen for having optimum room for securing wires therein and for providing optimum space between the headliner and the vehicle body structure to prevent any accidental contact therebetween.
The center console 50 is shown having a complementary connector 74 extending therefrom for connection to accessory connector 72. Front console 60 has a complementary connector 97 and sunshade module 130 has a complementary connector 39, designed to be connected to accessory connectors 72 to form the integrated wire harness of the modular headliner assembly.
Center console 50 and forward console 60 are shown somewhat in schematic format. It is to be understood that these consoles may include features such as overhead lights, reading lights, displays, vanity mirrors, garage door opener compartments switches, and other control features such that a modular headliner wire harness may include a significant number of conductors. Additionally, the sunshade modules as shown are anticipated to be sunshade modules incorporating illuminated vanity mirrors which likewise require a power supply.
Center console 50 is mounted through a substrate center module opening 39 formed in depressed portion of the substrate 51 to retainer 52 mounted on the opposite side of the substrate. Retainer 52 may have extending wings which act to distribute the load of the console over a wide area of the substrate such that uneven loading or distortion during the shipping or handling process is avoided. The substrate about the console is depressed and defines an opening therein. The console covers the end of the depression including the opening to form a neat, highly attractive module.
Mesh fastener 56 attached to a back portion of the retainer or alternatively to the console is designed to interact with mesh fastener 58 secured at location 59 to the roof bows of the vehicle body structure. This mesh retainer is preferably a Dual Lock ©retainer. By the selection of Dual Lock material, it is possible that the headliner may slide into position with one portion of the Dual Lock fastener sliding relative to the other. The Dual Lock fastener has the property that it does not grab and lock until the two fasteners are forced one into the other such as when the substrate is displaced upwardly locking it into its final position. Prior to such time, the headliner and the two mesh portions may be slid relative to one another to allow positioning and alignment of the headliner. This is quite different than other mesh fasteners which grab upon contact and may not thereafter be readily displaced.
Front console 60 is shown having snap legs 98 which extend upwardly through substrate front console opening 37 formed in depressed portion 61 to engage retainer 62. Retainer 62 has wings 90 which define wing openings 92. Inboard sunshade supports 66 and 68 extend with fastening legs 63 projecting upwardly through substrate endings 35, through retainer openings 92 and are secured in position by retainers 94 including spring legs 96 and, upon final assembly, extend through header openings 126 in the vehicle body structure. Each of the inboard sunshade supports 66 and 68 includes a receptacle for secondary visor 67 and a slot for receiving primary visor 65. As is seen in reference to sunshade module 130, the module includes a primary visor 132 and a secondary visor 134. The primary visor is mounted on the pivot rod 136 and the secondary visor is mounted on the pivot rod 137. The sunshade module further in