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Патент USA US3047343

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July 31, 1962
A. J. CARPENTER
3,047,332
CONVERTIBLE TOP
Filed June 6, 1961
ig»,
3 Sheets-Sheet 1
July 31, 1962
3,047,332
A. J. CARPENTER
CONVERTIBLE TOP
Filed June 6, 1961
5 Sheets-Sheet 2
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BY
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ATTORNEY
July 31, 1962
A. .1. CARPENTER
3,047,332
CONVERTIBLE TOP
Filed June 6, 1961
#46
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5 Sheets-Sheet 3
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INVEN TOR.
ATTORNEY
_
United States Patent O
3,047,332
M
ICC
Patented July 31, 1962
2
1
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken gener
3,047,332
CONVERTIBLE T0?
Arthur I. Carpenter, Royal (Bak, Mich., assigner to Gen
eral Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation
of Delaware
Filed .lune 6, 1961, Ser. No. 115,119
5 Claims. (Cl. 296-116)
This invention relates to convertible tops and more par
ally along the plane indicated by line 6_6 of FIGURE
2; and,
FIGURE 7 is an enlarged sectional view taken generally
along the plane indicated by line 7-7 of FIGURE 2.
Referring now to the drawings, a convertible vehicle
body 10 includes a windshield 12, a windshield header 14,
and a front `door 16 at either side of the body hinged
thereto at its forward edge 18 and latched thereto at its
ticularly to convertible top linkages and actuating means. 10 rearward edge 20. A convertible top frame 22 embodying
a top linkage and actuating means according to this inven
The convertible top and actuating means of this inven
tion is particularly intended for use with power actuated
tion is mounted on body 10 for movement between a
convertible tops wherein the rear quarter window opening
is rather large and is defined by the rear rail section of the
raised position as shown in FIGURE l and a lowered
position as shown in FIGURE 4. Since each side of the
top frame. In an arrangement such as this it is difficult 15 top frame is of like construction, although of different
han-d, only one side will be particularly described.
for the power arm to be connected to the intermediate
The top frame 22 generally comprises front, intermedi
rail section or the front rail section and to extend be
ate and rear rail sections 24, 26 and 23, respectively.
tween the body and the rail section to which it is con
The front rail section 24 is integral with the top header
nected around the rather large rear quarter window open
ing. In many present tops of this type, difliculties are 20 30 which seats on the windshield header 14 in the raised
often encountered in the raising and lowering of the top
because of the large force output required of the power
actuator. During movement of the top, the required out
position of the top frame and may be secured thereto by
suitable top header latches, not shown. Rail section 24
is pivoted to rail section 26 at 32 by a pair of upstanding
ears 34 on rail section 26, FIGURE 3, which receive and
put may exceed the rated force output of the actuator and
result in an uneven and halting movement of the top out 25 are bolted to an upstanding ear 36 on rail section 24.
Rail sections 26 and 2S are pivoted together at 38, and
of the top well and unfolding movement of the top in
rail section 28 is pivoted `at 40' between the ears of a
spurts rather than in a smooth and continuous manner.
bracket 42 which is fìxedly mounted on the rear quarter
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the
inner body panel 44 to thereby pivotally mount the top
power arm is pivotally connected adjacent its lower end
to a bell crank which is swingably mounted on the rear 30 frame on the body.
As can be seen in FIGURE l, the rear rail section 28
rail section, with the movement of the bell crank relative
forms substantially the entire upper edge of the rear
t0 the rear rail section being controlled by a linkage ar
quarter window opening, with the belt line 46 of the body
rangement which connects the bell crank to the body.
defining the lower edge of the window opening. The
The upper end of the power arm is connected to one of a
pair of pivotally connected shiftable links, the other link 35 forward edge of the Window opening lies generally in a
vertical plane through the rearward edge 2d of door I6,
being operatively connected to the intermediate rail sec
and the rear quarter window, not shown, seals against the
vertically movable door window, not shown, in the closed
position of each of these windows.
the intermediate rail section by the usual top linkage
when the top frame is lowered. The pivots of the one 40 The control means interconnecting rail sections 24 and
26 generally comprise a pair of toggle links 48 and 50
link to the power arm and of the other link to the one
pivoted together at 52, with link 48 being pivoted at 54
link are guided by guide means supported on the rear
to rail section 26 and link Si?4 being pivoted at 56 to rail
rail section so as to control movement of the links and
section 24. Another set of toggle links 5S and 60 a‘re
in turn control folding movement of the intermediate rail
section relative to the rear rail section. The power arm 45 pivoted together at 62, with link 5S being pivoted at 64
tion so as to fold this rail section relative to the rear rail
section and in turn fold the front rail section relative to
and the links lie very close to the rear rail section in the
raised position of the top frame so as to enhance the ap
pearance of the top frame and to also not present any
to an angle bracket 66 secured to rail section 24, FIG
URE 3, and link 6u being pivoted at 68 to an intermediate
portion of a control link 70. The forward end of link
70 is pivoted at 72 to an immediate portion of link 48
problems to attachment of the top fabric to the top frame.
The primary object of this invention is to provide an 50 and the rearward end thereof is pivoted at 74 to an ex
tension member 76 secured to the rear rail sect-ion 28 and
improved convertible top linkage and actuating means
extending beyond the pivot 38 ybetween rail sections 26
therefor. Another object of this invention is to provide
and 2S. The pivot 62 of links 58 and 66“ further supports
an improved means for transferring power from a power
the forward or No. l bow 7S of the top frame.
actuator to an intermediate rail section through a power
The control means interconnecting rail sections 26
and 28 includes a shiftable control link Si) having the
forward end thereof pivoted at 82 to an extension mem
Itrain between a power actuator and a rail section of a top
ber 84 secured to rail section 26. The rearward end of
frame.
the link St) is pivoted by pin 86 to the forward end of a
These and other objects of the invention will be read*
ily apparent from the following specilications and draw 60 shiftable link S8. The rearward end of the link SS is
pivoted by pin 90 to the upper end of a power arm or
ings wherein:
power link 92 of generally hook-shape construction. A
FIGURE l is a partially broken away partial side ele
channel guide member 94 has the base thereof suitably
vational view of a convertible vehicle body having a con
secured to the rear rail section '23, with this member fol
vertible top mounted thereon embodying a top linkage and
actuating means according to this invention;
65 lowing tlie contour of the rear rail section around the
upper portion of the rear window opening. The side
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged view of portion FIGURE l;
walls of the member 94 are slotted at 96, with the slots
FIGURE 3 is a view taken ygenerally along the plane
96 also following the contour of the rear rail section 28.
indicated by line 3_3 of FIGURE 2;
As can be seen in FIGURES 6 and 7, the ends of the
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged view showing the convertible
pins 86 and 90 are slidable in the slots 96 of the member
top in the lowered position thereof within the body;
70 94. Thus the shifting movement of the link S8 and -the
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged sectional View taken gener
shifting movement of the rearward end of the link S0 and
ally along the plane indicated by line 5_5 of FIGURE 2;
arm which is supported by a rear rail section. A further 55
object of this invention is to provide an improved power
3,047,332
3
4
of the upper end of the link 92 is positively controlled
fabric will allow bows 78 and 144 to swing rearwardly or
clockwise about their respective pivots on the top frame
and allow bow 126 to swing counterclockwise relative to
rail section 28 whereby the bow 136 is swung forwardly
by the guide member 94.
The lower end of the power arm or power link 92 is
pivotally secured at 923 to one leg of a generally tri
or counterclockwise about pivot 149 by link 132 and the
angularly shaped bell crank member 100 which is pivoted
bows are disposed as shown in FIGURE 4 of the draw
at 102 to the rear rail section 28 immediately below the
ings when the top is in a lowered position.
belt line of the body and adjacent to the rear corner of
When the top frame 22 is being moved from its low
the rear quarter window opening. The other leg of the
ered position within the body, as shown in FIGURE 4, to
bell crank 100 is pivoted at 104 to a control link 166
which is pivoted at 168 on the body inner panel 44.
10 its raised position, as shown in FIGURE l, r’the bell crank
10i) and link 106 again function to place a variable re
A power actuator 110 of the piston and cylinder type
straint upon the action of the power arm 92 and control
is pivoted at its lower end at 112 to the panel 44 and
the piston rod 114 at the actuator is pivoted at 116 to a
pair of links 118 and 120. Link 118 is pivoted at 122 to
links Si) and 88 to control the rate at which the rail sec
The deck bow 126 has the legs thereof pivoted at 128
toggle linkages. It is believed that the action of the vari
tion 26 unfolds relative to rail section 28 and likewise
the bracket 42 and link 120 is pivoted at 124 to the rear 15 the rate at which rail section 24 unfolds relative to rail
section 26 by means of the control link 70 and associated
quarter rail section 28 intermediate the pivots 49 andV 102.
ous control links, toggle linkages, and bell cranks during
to an extension 130 of the rear rail section 28. Links
raising movement of the top frame can easily be under
132 are pivoted at 134 to the deck bow and at 138 to the
rear or No. 3 bow 136. Bow 136 is pivoted at 14€) to an 20 stood without further speciñc description. However, it
should be noted that the power arm 92 and control links
angle bracket 142 secured to the rear rail section 28.
89 and 8S are placed in tension rather than in compres
The intermediate or No. 2 bow 144 is pivoted at 146 to
angle bracket 148 secured to the rear rail section 28.
The top frame 22 is shown in raised position in FIG
sion when the top is being raised, with this tension being
section 2S swings in this direction, bell crank 100 will
bodily move with the rail section and will also be urged
to swing in the opposite direction, or counterclockwise
comprising, a foldable top frame including a pair of
pivotally »connected rail sections, means swingably mount
continuously variable as link 106 swings in its arc about
the pivot 108 thereof on the body at the same time as
URE l of the drawings and in lowered position in
the rear rail section 28 swings in a similar arc about the
FIGURE 4 of the drawings wherein the top frame is
pivot 40 thereof on the body. Since the tension placed
located within the body 1€) in the usual convertible top
in the power arm and control links is continuously varia
well located rearwardly of the rear seat of the body. It
ble a variable restraint is thus placed upon the action of
the top frame is to be moved from its raised to its low
ered position, power actuator 110 is supplied with hy 30 the power arm and control links.
Thus this invention provides a new and improved con
draulic pressure Íluid in order to retract the piston rod
vertible top linkage and actuating means.
114 thereof. This will fold links 118 and 12€) so as to
What is claimed is:
swing the rear rail section 28 clockwise or downwardly
1. In a convertible vehicle body, the combination
and rearwardly of the body about its pivot 40. As rail
ing one of said rail sections on said body to mount said
top frame thereon for movement between raised and
lowered positions, »operating `means for so moving said
rail section since link 106 swings about -the pivot 108
thereof in a different arc greater than the arc of move 40 `top frame, power arm means, means pivotally connect
ing said power arm means to said one rail section for
ment of pivot 162 about the pivot 40 of the rail section
movement therewith and movement relative thereto,
28 on the body, This will cause the power arm 92 to be
con-trol means operatively connected to the other rail
placed in compression and to move the link 8S forwardly
section to fold said other rail section relative to said one
as pins 86 and 90 move forwardly in slots 96. Movement
rail section, shiftable means interconnecting said control
of the link 88 in this direction will also place the control
means and said power arm means, guide means defin
link 80 in compression so as to urge rail sections 26 and
ing a predetermined path of movement of said shiftable
24 to swing downwardly, or counterclockwise as viewed
means, spaced means operatively interconnecting said
in FIGURE l, as a unit about the pivot 38 of rail section
shiftable means and said guide means to cause said
26 to rail section 2S.
shiftable means to follow said path of movement, and
Since the link 196 swings in an arc, the counterclock
means controlling the movement of said power arm
wise movement of the bell crank 16@ is continuously
means relative to said one rail section upon swinging
variable. Thus, the compression which is placed in the
movement of said one rail section relative to said body.
power arm 92 and in the control links 88 and 80 is also
2. In a convertible vehicle body, the combination
continuously variable and a variable restraint is placed
as viewed in FIGURE l, about its pivot 102 on the rear
on the action of the power arm and control links so as to
delay folding movement of the top trame as it is lowered
and thereby allow the power actuator 110 to operate
within its effective rang of power output. It will be noted
that link 106 must swing in an arc which is not concentric
with the arc of movement of the pivot pin 102 in order
that the power arm 92 and the control links 80 and 88
be placed in compression as the top frame is lowered.
As the rail sections 24 and 26 are urged by link 80 to
swing counterclockwise as a unit about the pivot 38, the
control link 70 which interconnects rail section 28 and
toggle linkages 48, 50, and 58, 60, will fold these link
ages so as to swing rail section 24 rearward or clockwise
relative to rail section 26 about the pivot 32 therebetween
as the rail sections 24 and 26 swing about the pivot 38
to hold rail sections 24 and 26 relative to each other and
rail section 28 as the top is lowered.
The movement of the top bows is controlled by the top
fabric 150, which interconnects the bows 78, 144, 136 and
126 and the top header 3G. As the rail section 24 swings
rearwardly over the rail section 26, the slack in the top
comprising, a foldable top frame including a pair of
pivotally connected rail sections, means swingably mount
ing one of said rail sections `on said body to mount said
top frame thereon for movement between raised and
lowered positions, operating means for so moving said
top frame, a power arm, means pivotally connecting
said power arm to said one rail section for movement
therewith and movement relative thereto, control means
operatively connected to the other rail section to fold
said other rail section relative to said one rail section,
a shiftable member pivotally interconnecting said con
trol means and said power arm, guide means deñning
a predetermined path of shifting movement of said mem
ber, spaced means operatively interconnecting said mem
ber and said guide means to cause said member to follow
said path of movement, and means controlling the move
ment of said power larm relative to said one rail Section
upon swinging movement of said one rail section rela
tive to said body.
3. In a convertible vehicle body, the combination
comprising, a foldable top frame including a pair of
3,047,332
5
6
pivotally connected rail sections, means swingably mount
ing one of said rail sections on said body to mount
said top frame thereon for movement between raised
and lowered positions, operating means for so moving
tion, means slidably connecting said guide means to the
pivots of said link means to control the movement of
said link means, and means controlling the movement
said top frame, a power arm, means pivotally connect
ing said power arm to said one rail section for move
of said power arm means relative to said one rail Sec
tion upon swinging movement of -said one rail section
relative to said body.
5. In a. convertible vehicle body, the combination
comprising, a foldable -top frame including a pair of
pivotally connected rail sections, means swingably mount
ment therewith and movement relative thereto, control
means operatively connected to the other rail section
to fold said other rail section relative to said one rail
section, a shiftable link pivotally interconnecting said 10 ing one of said rail sections on said lbody to mount said
top frame thereon for movement between raised and
control means and said power arm, guide means slidably
lowered positions, operating means for so moving said
connected to the pivots of said link to control the move
top frame, a power arm, means pivotally connecting
ment of said link, and means `controlling the movement
of said power arm relative to said one rail section upon
said power `arm to said one rail section for movement
therewith and movement relative thereto, control means
swinging movement of said one rail section relative
operatively connected to lthe other rail section to fold
to said body.
said other rail section relative to said one rail section, a
4. In a convertible vehicle body, the combination
shiftable link pivotally interconnecting said control means
comprising, a foldable top frame includ-ing a pair of
and said power arm, »a channel guide secured to said
pivotally connected rail sections, means swingably mount
ing one of said rail sections `on said body to mount said 20 one rail section and receiving said link therein, means
slidably »connecting the pivots of said link to said guide
top `frame thereon for movement between raised and
to control the movement of said link, and means con
lowered positions, operating means for so moving said
trolling t-he movement of said power iarm relative to said
top frame, power arm means, means pivotally connect
ing said power arm means to said one rail section for
one rail section upon swinging movement of said one
movement therewith and movement relative thereto, 25 rail section relative to said body.
control means operatively connected ~to the other rail
section to fold said other nail section relative to said
References Cited in the file of this patent
one rail section, shiftable link means pivotally intercon~
UNITED STATES PATENTS
necting said control means and said power arm means,
guide means following the contour of said one rail sec 30 2,930,651 ‘ Lautenback et al ...... _.. Mar. 29.
1960
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