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Патент USA US3082040

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March 19, 1963
s. DULUK ETAL
3,082,030
cLosURE LATCH
Filed July 18, 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
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_March 19, 1963
‘l s. DULUK ETAL.
3,082,030
CLOSURE LATCH
Filed July 18, 1960
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
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United States Patent O ice
3,082,030
Stanley Duluk, Dearborn, and Wilson H. West, Madison
Heights, Mich., assignors to General Motors Corpo
ration, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Delaware
Filed .luly 18, 1960, Ser. No. 43,666
4 Claims. (Cl. 292--113)
3,082,030
o
1
CLGSURE LATCH
„
Patented Mar. V19, 19.63,
.
¿l
.
bly according to this invention, with the latch assembly
being shown in `latched position;
FIGURE 2 is .an enlarged partially broken away view
of a portion of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3- is an‘enlarged sectional view taken gener
ally along the plane indicated'by line 3--3 of FIGURE 2;
and
-
» FIGURE 4 is la View similar to FIGURE 3 sho-wing
the latch assembly in an unlatched position.
This invention relates to closure latches, and more par
Referring now to FIGURE 1 of the drawings a con
ticularly to a convertible top header latch assembly.
l0
vertib-le vehicle- 10‘ includes a windshield 12 which is
The pri-mary object of this invention is to provide a
housed within .a windshield header 14. A convertible top
new and improved convertible top header latch assembly
frame 16V of known type »is mounted on the ‘body` 10for
which materially reduces the effort required of the op
erator to both latch and unlatch a top header to and
from a windshield header. In accomplishing this object
of the invention, the subject latch assembly includes a
vertically swingable manually operable handle assem
bly which is movable between closed and open positions
movement between `a raised position, as shown, and a low
ered position, not shown, with frame 16 supporting the
usual-convertible `top fabric 18. Frame 16 includes a top
header 20‘ whichV bears against the. windshield header 14
in the raised position of the trame 16, with the top header;
20 being latched to the windshield header 14 by a top
with respect to a latch housing on the top header, with
the closed and open positions of the handle assembly cor 20 header latch assembly 22 according to this invention.> It.
will be understood ,that- two such .assemblies 22 are usually
responding respectively to the latched and unlatched posi
tions of the latch assembly. By rotatably mounting the
handle assembly on the top header’ for swinging-move
ment about a generally horizontally disposed axis; the op
provided, one being locatedl adjacent each end of the top
header 20.
-
As shown in FIGURES 3 .and 4 of the drawings, header
erator is permitted to use his leverage to the best advan 25 20 includes an upper member 2.4 and a lower member
26, with members 2.4 and 26 `being secured together at
tage in order to move the handle between its terminal
positions. The handle assembly is further selectively and
23v adjacent the forward edges thereof.. A reinforcing`
member 30 interconnects the rear. edge portions of mem
alternately biased to either of its terminal positions, with
locating means being provided to locate the handle as-V
bers 24 and 26 adjacent the upper rearward edge of
means. A latch bolt assembly is swingably mounted on
provide an opening 32 to receive the latch assembly 22.
Latch assembly 22 includes a housing 34 provided with
sembly in both terminal positions against the biasing 30 `the top header 20. Members` 26 and 30‘ are cut away to
the handle assembly and is biased toward latched'posi
a continuous peripheral flange 36 which is complementary
tiongat all times. When the latch assembly is in latched
to t-he .shape of member 26 and is bolted thereto at 38.
position, the handle is in closed position and the latch
bolt assembly is in latching engagement with the striker 35 A pair of spaced arcuately shaped ribs 40 of housing 36
define a longitudinally arcuate opening 42 therebetween.
assembly on the windshield header, with the axis of swing
A.general1y arcuately shaped handle 44 tits withinfthe
ing of the handle assembly on the housing being disposed
opening 42 and includes agspaced .pair of laterally extend
to one side of a line through the axis of `swinging of the
ing arms 46 which are `rotatably mounted on studs 48`
latch bolt assembly on the handle assemblygand the point
the inner Walls 50ct the ribs 40 inorder to ro-y
of engagement of the latch bolt assembly with the striker 40 tìXed‘to
tatably mount the handle 44 on the housing 34 for swing
assembly. When-the handle assembly is moved to an
open position, the handle biasing means initially resists
movement of the handle assembly toward open position
ing movement between a closed position with respect
thereto, as shown .in FIGURE 3, and an open position
with respect thereto, as shownin FIGURE' 4. An over
and thereafter aids such movement of the handle assem
center torsion spring R52, is> located between each Varm 46
bly'. SinceV the latch bolt assembly is continually biased 45 `and each wal1‘50‘, with each spring 52 having one end 514
toward latched position, it will continuously engage `the
thereof hooked within an opening in a wall `50 and the’V
striker assembly and slide out of latching engagement
other end 56 thereof hooked withinïan opening in an arm
therewith as the handle assembly moves toward open
46. Springs 52 selectively `and alternately bias the han
position, with the unlatched position of the latch bolt
50 dle, 44 to either its closed or to its open position. 'When
assembly being determined by interengaging means on
the handle 44 is in a Closed position asrshown in FIGURE
the latch bolt assembly and on the handle assembly in
3, springs 52 bias the arms 46 of .the handle into engage
the open position ofthe latter.
ment -with a web 58 interconnecting the walls 50- or" hous
The operator can easily move the handle assembly be
ing 34 in order to locate the handle 44 in this position.
tween its open and 'closed positions despite the action 55 When the handle 44 is moved from its closed position, as
of the biasing means whichgalways initially resists move
shown in FIGURE 3, to its open position, as shown in
ment of the handle assembly from one terminal position
FIGURE 4, springs 52 will initially resist such movement
towards another terminal position tor part of the move
of the handle 44 until the ends'56 of the spring come into
ment thereof and thereafter> aids movement of t-he han
alignment'withV .the axesof studs '4S and the ends 54 of
dle assembly from the one terminalsposition- to the other
the spring.`> ’Ihereaften when‘the ends 56 of the springs
terrrrinal‘position; By providing a handle assembly of this ` pass beyond this aligned posi-tion, the springs 52 will then
type and4 a- latch bolt assembly which is rotatably mounted
ac_t to bias*` the h_andle to its open position, as shown in
on the handle assembly and continually biased toward
FIGUREv 4, with the handle being located in this posi
latched position, the operator need jexert little eiitort'inV
tion by engagement of the'tinge'r piece 60 of the handle .
both' latching and-unlatching the top header'to and from
with a portion d2 of the tlange 36 of hóusing`3‘4. '
the windshield header, and further is pe'r'mittedtouse his
` >A U-shapedl bracket or'lat'ch bolt support`member 64.
leverage to the best possible advantage.`
`
is located between the arms 46 of. the handle and is swing-4
Other objects of this invention will'be readily apparent-A
Írom the following specification `.and drawings wherein:
ably mounted~ on the handle by pivot shaft 68 extending
between _the arms 46. The base of the bracket i‘swpro
FIGURE 1 «is a partial perspective view of a conyert-~ 70 vided with'a threaded bore 70 which threadedly receives
ible automobile having 'aconvertible top mounted thereon M J oneend of ahook type latch bolt 72, with bolt 72 being
and embodying a convertible ` top header latch assem
^ adjust'ab-l’y secu'?ed to the bracket 64 by means of a setr
3,082,030
3
4
screw 74. A coil torsion spring 76 surrounds shaft 68
intermediate the legs of the bracket 64, with one end 78
said top header, latch operating means swingably mounted
on said support means for movement between first and
of the spring bearing against the inner surface of the han
dle 44 andthe other end 80 of the spring bearing against
to latched and unlatched positions of said latch means,
one side of thc base of bracket 64 in order to continually
second terminal positions relative thereto corresponding
means selectively and alternately biasing said latch operat
ing means to either of said terminal positions thereof,
locating means engageable by said operating means in
in FIGURES 3 and 4 of the drawings, about the shaft 68.
the terminal positions thereof under the action of said
When the handle 44 is in its closed position, as shown
biasing means to locate said operating means in each of
in FIGURE 3, bolt 72 will be in latching engagement 10 said positions, a latch bolt swingably mounted on said
with a lip S2 of a striker assembly 84 which is bolted at
operating means for movement therewith and movement
86 to the windshield header 14. The striker assembly
relative thereto, biasing means interconnecting said latch
further includes a laterally extending apertured ear 88,
bolt and said operating means and continuously biasing
FIGURES 1 and 2, which receives a conical headed guide
said latch bolt to the latched position thereof, the pivotal
pin 90 integral with the housing 34» in order to laterally 15 axis of said latch bolt and the point of engagement of said
locate the top header 2t) with respect to the windshield
bolt with said striker means being located on opposite
header 14. The striker assembly 84 may also include a
sides of the pivotal axis of said operating means on said
support 92 for a sun shade support arm 94 in order to
support and over center with respect thereto in the latched
mount a sun shade 96 on the windshiled header 14.
position of said latch bolt whereby the over center relation
If it is desired to unlatch the latch assembly, the finger 20 ship of said pivotal axes and said point of engagement of
piece 60` is grasped by the operator and is moved rear
said operating means with said locating means holds said
wardly or upwardly in order to rotate the handle 44
bolt in tight engagement with said striker means in the
counterclockwise about the studs 48 to open position.
latched position thereof.
During such movement of the handle 44 to open position,
2. Latch means for an automobile convertible top
springs 52 will initially act to resist the movement and
header movable into and out of engagement with a wind
thereafter aid the movement of handle 44, as previously
shield header having striker means mounted thereon
described. During this movement of the handle, the latch
comprising, in combination, a support mounted on said
bolt 72 will continuously slide downwardly and rear
top header, a latch operating member swingably mounted
wardly relative to lip 82, as viewed in FIGURE 3, as the
on said support for movement between first and second
spring 76 continually biases the bracket 64 clockwise rela 30 terminal positions relative thereto corresponding to latched
tive to the arms 46 as the arms 46 swing counterclockwise
and unlatched positions of said latch means, first biasing
about the pivot studs 48. The bolt 72 continues to slide
means selectively and alternately biasing said latch operat
relative to the lip 82 of the striker assembly S4 as the
ing member to either of said terminal positions thereof,
handle 44 moves toward its open position. When the
locating means engageable by said operating member in the
handle reaches its open position, the base of the bracket 35 terminal positions thereof under the action of said biasing
64 will engage the lip 82, as shown in FIGURE 4, and the
means to locate said operating member in each of said
interengagement of shoulders 98 on the legs of the bracket
positions, a latch bolt swingably mounted on said operat
64 and a shoulder 100 on the handle 44 accurately locates
ing member for movement therewith and movement rela
the latch bolt assembly in this position prior to movement
tive thereto, second biasing means interconnecting said
40 bolt and said operating member and continuously biasing
of the top to a lowered position.
The operator is aided in moving the handle 44 from its
said latch bolt to the latched position thereof, said second
closed position to its open position by the seal pressure of
biasing means biasing said bolt into engagement with said
the weatherstrip 102 which seals the convertible top header
striker means in said tirst terminal position of said operat
against the windshield header 14. Further, once the ends
ing member, and means on said operating member engage
56 of the springs 52 have moved into alignment with the
able by said bolt in the unlatched position thereof and
axes of studs 4S and the ends 54 of the spring and then
second position of said operating member to locate said
beyond such alignment, the springs 52 will then also aid
bolt in said unlatched position with respect to said striker
the operator in moving the handle l44- from its closed
means.
position to its open position. Thus, very little effort is
3. Latch means for an automobile convertible top
required of the operator in order to unlatch the top header
header movable into and out of engagement with a wind
from the windshield header.
shield header having striker means mounted thereon com
If the top is thereafter moved from its lowered position
prising, in combination, a latch support mounted on
to a raised position, the top header will be located with
said top header, a latch operating member swingably
respect to the windshield header, as shown in FIGURE 4
mounted on said support for movement between first and
of the drawings. The operator then grasps the finger
second terminal positions relative thereto corresponding
piece 60 to move the handle 44 from its open position to its
to latched and unlatched positions of said latch means,
closed position. During this movement of the handle,
first biasing means selectively and alternately biasing said
the springs 52 will initially resist movement of the handle
operating member to either of said terminal positions
until the ends S6 thereof come into alignment with and
thereof, locating means engageable by said operating
pass beyond the line between the ends 54 of the springs 60 member in the terminal positions thereof to locate said
and the axes of the studs 48. Thereafter the springs 52
member in each of said positions, a latch bolt swingably
will act to bias the handle 44 to its closed position and
mounted on said operating member for movement there
will aid the operator in compressing the weatherstrip 102
with and movement relative thereto between latched and
against the windshield header 14. During this movement
unlatched positions, second biasing means interconnect
of the handle 44, the spring 76 will continue to bias the
ing said bolt and said operating member and continuous
bolt 72 toward latched position so that the bolt will slide
Vly'biasing said bolt to the latched position thereof, the
upwardly ad forwardly of the lip ‘82 »and into latching en
pivotal axis of said bolt and the point of engagement of
gagement therewith.
said bolt with said striker means being located to either
Thus this invention provides a new and improved con
side of the pivotal axis of said operating member on said
vertible top header latch assembly.
'
70 support and over center with respect thereto in the latched
What is claimed is:
position of said bolt and first position of said member to
1. Latch means for an automobile convertible top header
hold said bolt in tight engagement with said striker means,
movable into and out of engagement with a windshield
movement of said member to said second position thereof
header having striker means mounted thereon compris
causing said pivotal axis of said bolt to move over center
ing, in combination, latch support means mounted on
with respect to said axis of said operating member and
bias the latch bolt assembly, including the bolt 72 and the
bracket 64, toward latched position or clockwise, as viewed
3,082,030
5
said point of engagement to permit said second biasing
means to cause said bolt to slide relative to said striker
means and out of engagement therewith.
4. Latch means for an automobile convertible top
header movable into and out of engagement with a wind
shield header having striker means mounted thereon com
prising, in combination, a latch support mounted on said
top header, a latch operating member swing'ably mounted
on said support for movement between ñrst and second
6
ment of said operating member from said first terminal
position thereof to said second terminal position thereof
moving the pivotal axis of said latch bolt to the other
side of said line to permit said second biasing means to
move said bolt relative to said striker means, and means
on said operating member engageable by means on said
bolt to limit movement of said bolt relative to said striker
means by said second biasing means -and to locate said
bolt in the unlatched position thereof and second terminal
terminal positions relative thereto corresponding to latched 10 position of said operating member.
’ and unlatched positions of said latch means, means selec~
tively and alternately biasing said latch operating mem
ber to either of said terminal positions thereof, a latch
bolt swingably mounted on said operating member for
movement therewith and movement relative thereto, sec
ond biasing means interconnecting said latch bolt and
said operating member and continuously biasing said latch
bolt to the latched position thereof, the pivotal axis of
said latch bolt being located to one side of a line through
the point of engagement of said bolt with said striker 20
References Cited in the ñle of this patent
UNITED STATES PATENTS
1,824,912
1,874,230
Mears ________________ ___ Sept. 29, 1931
Blackmore __________ _.. Aug. 30, 1932
2,709,621
Votypka et al. ________ __ May 31, 1955
2,712,955
2,886,364
3,004,788
Andrews ____________ __. July 12, 1955
Smith ______________ _.. May 12, 1959
Dully et al. __________ __ Oct. 17, 1961
646,334
Great Britain ________ __ Nov. 22, 1950
means and the pivotal axis of said operating member on
said support in the latched position of said latch bolt and
ñrst terminal position of said operating member, move
FOREIGN PATENTS
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