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United States Patent 3,858,922
Yamanaka January 7, 1975

REMOTE CONTROL APPARATUS FOR OPENING AND CLOSING VEHICLE DOOR

Abstract

A remote control apparatus for opening and closing a vehicle door is disclosed. The device comprises a first shaft rotatably mounted transversely of the vehicle, an operating lever rigidly connected to one end thereof, an arm extending radially from the other end of the first shaft, a connecting rod connected between the arm and an actuating means, a first supporting shaft for pivotally connecting the connecting rod to the actuating means, a swinging member, one end being in operative engagement with the slide member and being biased thereagainst by a spring, a door locking hook, and a flexible shaft connecting said swinging member and one end of the door locking hook.


Inventors: Yamanaka; Shigehiro (Higashiyodogawa-ku, Osaka, JA)
Appl. No.: 05/394,463
Filed: September 5, 1973


Current U.S. Class: 292/336.3 ; 292/221; 292/DIG.25; 74/501.5R
Current International Class: E05F 11/12 (20060101); E05F 11/00 (20060101); E05B 53/00 (20060101); E05B 65/20 (20060101); E05c 003/00 ()
Field of Search: 292/336.3,DIG.25,196,225,221,166,125 49/302,285,379

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
2136061 November 1938 Steele
2224454 December 1940 Hill
2319897 May 1943 Young
2354169 July 1944 Fredholm
2563248 August 1951 Kotzin
2683619 July 1954 Anderson
2857192 October 1958 Peterson
Primary Examiner: Frazier; Roy D.
Assistant Examiner: Aschenbrenner; Peter A.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Wenderoth, Lind & Ponack

Claims



I claim:

1. A remote control apparatus for opening and closing a vehicle door, comprising:

a first shaft rotatably mounted traversely of the vehicle, an operating lever rigidly connected to one end thereof, an arm rigidly connected to the other end thereof and extending radially therefrom;

a first connecting rod, one end thereof being operatively connected to the free end of said arm and movable in an axial direction;

an actuating means comprising an elongated body having a guide slot, and an elongated slide member movably mounted within the guide slot of said elongated body and capable of extending from said elongated body, the other end of said first connecting rod being in engagement therewith;

a first supporting shaft extending transversely through both of said body and said slide member and slidably received within the guide slot, one end of said slide member being thereby pivotally connected to said connecting rod;

a swinging member pivotally supported for pivotal rotation around a point intermediate its ends by a support means, one end of said swinging member contacting the free end of said slide member and a spring member to said swinging member for biasing said one end of said swinging member against said slide member;

a door locking hook pivotally supported at an intermediate portion thereof and a spring member connected thereto for biasing said hook in a direction for unhooking the door lock;

a flexible hook operating shaft, one end operatively connected to the other of said swinging member and the other end connected to an end of said door locking hook.

2. The device of claim 1, further comprising a second connecting rod interposed between said first connecting rod and said actuating member, one end of said second connecting rod being connected to said first connecting rod and the other end of said second connecting rod being pivotally connected to said slide member by said supporting shaft.

3. The device of claim 2 further including a supporting piece connected to the upper part of said swinging member, said supporting piece having an aperture, said flexible hook operating shaft being inserted therethrough and connected thereto, and a plurality of adjacent adjusting holes, said supporting member being secured to said swinging member through a desired one thereof.

4. The device of claim 3, further comprising a guiding cover said guiding cover surrounding said pivotal connection between said first and second connecting rods and restricting the horizontal swinging movement of said joint.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein the end of said connecting member pivotally connected to said actuating means is curved.

6. The device of claim 1 further including a supporting piece connecting to the upper part of said swinging member, said supporting piece having an aperture, said flexible hook operating shaft being inserted therethrough and connected thereto, and a plurality of adjacent adjusting holes, said supporting member being secured to said swinging member through a desired one thereof.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein the end of said connecting member pivotally connected to said actuating means is curved.
Description



BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an improved remote control apparatus for opening and closing a vehicle door, and more particularly to a vehicle door mechanism which provides for remote control of an inaccesible vehicle door in a manner whereby the vehicle door is unlocked and opened when a lever is moved in one direction, and is closed and locked when the lever is moved in the reverse direction.

2. Description of the Prior Art

There are prior art arrangements which operate pneumatically, hydraulically, or magnetically. However, such prior art arrangements are expensive, time consuming to install, heavy, bulky, and are difficult to repair because of their complicated mechanisms. Furthermore, in the prior art arrangement the rate at which the door may be opened and closed is not adjustable, and thus unexpected accidents may occur.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved mechanical remote control apparatus for opening and closing a vehicle door.

It is another object of the invention to provide a device which is mechanically simple, can be installed easily, and permits opening and closing vehicle door safely and securely.

According to the present invention, a door mechanism is disclosed by means by which it is possible to open or close a door easily by merely pulling up, or pushing down, an operating lever while it is also possible to control the rate at which the door opens or closes by merely varying the force applied to the operating lever. The mechanism of the door lock is protected against corrosion and deterioration due to rainwater which may leak into the door in situations where a window is provided adjacent the door mechanism. Due to the advantages described above, the door mechanism is resistant to shocks which may be generated when opening or closing the door, and it is also possible to avoid unexpected trouble which may be produced when an open door strikes another object, such as another car, when being opened. The subject device is easy to repair and the parts thereof are inexpensive to replace.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A clear understanding will be apparent from a consideration of two of the preferred embodiments of the invention with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating one part of the mechanism in FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged detailed view of one part of the mechanism in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line III--III of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing a further embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged detailed front view of the one part of the mechanism in FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line VI--VI of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of the locking hook and associated mechanism of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring first to FIGS. 1 to 3 inclusive, mounting plate 14 is housed in a vehicle door frame 11 and is secured to supporting frame 12 of the door frame 11 so that the mounting plate 14 may be easily accessible from outside the vehicle when lining board 13, which is provided in order to prevent rainwater from leaking into the door frame 11 around window glass 15, is removed.

Preferably said mounting plate 14 is positioned at a lower corner of the door frame 11 adjacent to hinge means 16 about which the vehicle door pivots. An actuating means 17, having a bifurcated elongated body 18 and a guide slot 19 of a predetermined length formed in the upper surface of said body is connected to the lower part of said mounting plate 14. A groove 20 is formed between both parts of said body 18 and an elongated slide piece 21 is movably mounted therein and is outwardly extensible therefrom. A supporting shaft 22 which extends transversely through said body 18 and the slide piece 21 is slidably received within said guide slot 19, and is pivotally connected to a curved end 24 of a first connecting rod 23. The free end of said slide piece 21 abuts against one end of a swinging member 25 which is biased toward slide piece 21 by means of a spring member 26. Swinging member 25 is pivotally supported at a middle part thereof by a shaft 27 in the mounting plate 14. A supporting piece 28 is connected to the other end of the swinging member 25 by means of a screw member 68, and has a supporting hole 29 formed therethrough at one end portion of the supporting piece and a plurality of adjacent holes 30 which are provided in order to properly position supporting hole 29 with a hook operating shaft having an adjustable length for engagement. The hook operating shaft 31 is constructed of wire or the like, being preferably flexible, and one end thereof is passed through the supporting hole 29 and is retained firmly therein by means of a stopper member 33. The other end of the hook operating shaft 31 is passed through a hole formed in one end of a door locking hook 32 which is mounted in the supporting frame adjacent the door lock. A stopper means is provided to prevent the shaft 31 from slipping out of the hole in the door locking hook 32. The door locking hook is rotatably supported intermediate its ends by a supporting shaft 70 so as to swing about the shaft 70 and the other end of said door locking hook 32 is adapted to engage a pin (not shown) mounted in the lining of the lock for locking or unlocking the door. Spring member 69, passing freely through the shaft 31, is provided between the door locking hook 32 and the covering member 71 and is adapted to bias the door locking hook 32 in the appropriate direction for unlocking the door lock. This may clearly be seen in FIG. 7. Within a guiding cover 34, which is mounted on the vehicle frame 35 between the adjacent door frames, the first connecting rod 23 is pivotally connected to a second connecting rod 36 at one end thereof. The rod 36 moves generally in a horizontal, axial direction as does of rod 23. The guiding cover 34 is used to prevent horizontal movement of the connecting number, which movement would be caused by the swinging movement of rod 23 when the vehicle door is opened or closed. The other end of said connecting rod 36 is pivotally connected to an arm 37 which extends radially from one end of a transverse shaft 38 which is rotatably mounted on the floor of the car. The other end of the transverse shaft 38 is connected to an operating level 39 which is situated adjacent a driver's seat. The reference numeral 40 denotes a cover for the above mentioned mechanism.

In the operation of the above described first embodiment of the invention, when a driver pulls the operating lever 39 installed near his seat in an upward direction the transverse shaft 38 rotatably positioned on the floor of the car simultaneously rotates therewith and the arm 37 radially extending from the opposite end of said transverse shaft 38 also rotates with the rotation of said transverse shaft 38. The connecting rod 36, being pivotally mounted to the free end of the arm 37, is driven longitudinally of the vehicle body as the arm 37 rotates and the connecting rod 23 which is pivotally joined to the opposite end of the connecting rod 36 within the guiding cover 34 is shifted by the operation of the connecting rod 36 and swings in a substantially horizontal direction, in a direction longitudinal of the vehicle when the vehicle door is opened.

The curved end 24 of the connecting rod 23 causes the slide piece 21 to move along the groove 20 in the elongated body within the range determined by the length of the guide slot 19 and the head of the slide piece 21 causes the swinging member 25 to pivot about its pivot point. The hook operating shaft 31 which is connected to the opposite end of said swinging member 25 is pulled by the shaft 31 and the door locking hook 32 fixedly connected to the other end of the hook operating shaft 31 catches the pin mounted on the lining of the lock and allows the door to be unlocked. If the upward pulling of the operating lever 39 is continued the longitudinal movement of the supporting shaft 22 is limited by the end of the guide slot 19 and any further pushing force is conveyed to the elongated body 18 by means of curved end 24 whereby the door is opened at a rate directly proportional to the amount of such pushing force. When a driver pushes the operating lever 39 downward, the mechanism as above described operates to close the door at a rate depending upon the amount of such pushing force.

FIGS. 4 to 6 show another embodiment according to the present invention, wherein a mounting plate 44 which is housed in a door frame 41 of a motor car is secured to a supporting frame 42 of the door frame 41 so that the mounting plate 44 may be easily accesible from outside the vehicle when a lining board 43 is removed. Preferably the mounting plate is positioned at a lower corner of the door case 41 adjacent to a hinge means 45 about which the door pivotally moves. An actuating means 46 having an elongated bifurcated body 47 and a guide slot 48 of a predetermined length is formed in the upper surface of said body and connected to the lower part of the mounting plate 44. A groove 49 is formed by the two portions of said body 47, and an elongated slide piece 50 is movably mounted in groove 49 and extends outwardly therefrom a supporting shaft 51 extending transversely through the body 47 and the slide piece 50 is slidably within the guide slot 48, and is pivotally connected to a curved end 53 of a first connecting rod 52. The free end of the slide piece 50 abuts swinging member 54 which is biased thereagainst by a spring member 55, swinging member 54 being pivotally supported intermediate its end portions by a shaft 56 which is secured to the mounting plate 44. A supporting piece 57 having a supporting hole 58 formed therethrough and a series of adjacent holes 59 for positioning the support hole to properly receive an end of hook operating shaft 60 is mounted on the other end of the swinging member 54. Said hook operating shaft 60 is preferably constructed of a similar flexible material, and one end is passed through said supporting hole 58 and is firmly retained therein by a stopper means 62. The other end of the hook operating shaft 60 is passed through a hole formed in one end of a door locking hook 61, the hook 61 being mounted on the supporting frame adjacent to the door lock, and a stopper means is provided to prevent the shaft 60 from slipping out of the hole in the hook 61. The door locking hook 61 is supported intermediate its ends by a supporting shaft 74 so as to pivot or rotate about the shaft 74 and the other end of the door locking hook 61 is adapted to hook a pin (not shown) mounted to the lining of the lock for locking or unlocking the door. Spring member 73 which passes freely through the shaft 60 is provided between the door locking hook 61 and covering member 75 and is adapted to bias the door locking hook 61 in the direction unlocking the door lock. The other end of the first connecting rod 52 is pivotally connected to an arm 63 which extends radially from one end of a transverse shaft 64 which is rotatably mounted on the floor of the car. The other end of the shaft 64 is connected to an operating lever 65 situated adjacent the driver's seat. The reference numeral 66 denotes a window glass and the reference numeral 67 shows a cover for the above mentioned mechanism. In the operation of this second embodiment, when the driver pulls up or the operating lever 65, the transverse shaft 64 rotates and the arm 63 radially extending from the opposite end of the transverse shaft 64 rotates simultaneously with the rotation of said transverse shaft 64. The first connecting rod 52, being pivotally connected to the free end of the arm 63, moves in a substantially axial direction and causes the slide piece 50 which is pivotally joined to the opposite end of the first connecting rod 52 to move along the groove 49 of the body 47 within the range predetermined by the length of the guide slot 48. The head of the slide piece 50 pushes the swinging member 54. The hook operating shaft 60 connected to the opposite end of the swinging member 54 is thereby pulled toward the front of the car and the door locking hook 61 which is connected to the other end of the hook operating shaft 60 operates and catches the pin mounted in the lining of the lock so as to unlock the lock. By continuing to pull upwardly on the operating lever 65, the movement of the first supporting shaft 51 is halted as the shaft reaches the end of the guide slot 48 and any further pushing force is conveyed to the body 47 fixed to the mounting plate 44 from the shaft 51, whereby the door is opened at a rate which depends upon the amount of such pushing force. When a driver pushes on the operating lever 65 adjacent his seat, the mechanism as above described operates so as to close the door at a rate dependent upon with the amount of such pushing force.

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