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1. WO2012060183 - A VEHICLE DOOR LOCK DEVICE

Note: Text based on automatic Optical Character Recognition processes. Please use the PDF version for legal matters

[ EN ]
DESCRIPTION

TITLE OF THE INVENTION A Vehicle Door Lock Device

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

[0001]

The present invention relates to a vehicle door lock device for being capable of holding a vehicle door in a closed state relative to a body (a vehicle body) and locking the door.

2. Related Art

[0002]

An example of a vehicle door lock device is disclosed in

JP2002-129810A. The vehicle door lock device disclosed in

JP2002-129810A includes a latch mechanism and a lock mechanism. The latch mechanism includes a latch and a pawl, and is adapted to be capable of holding the vehicle door in a closed state relative to the body. The lock mechanism includes an open lever linked with the pawl, and combines with the latch mechanism. This vehicle door lock device is assembled in the vehicle door. As is commonly known, the latch of the latch mechanism is capable of engaging with/disengaging from a striker assembled in the body, and the pawl of the latch mechanism is capable of holding/releasing the engagement of the latch with the striker.

[0003]

l

In the vehicle door lock device disclosed in the aforementioned JP2002-129810A, a pawl spring (54) for biasing the pawl (52) toward a default position is provided in the latch mechanism, and an open lever spring (43b) for biasing the open lever (41) toward a default position is provided in the lock mechanism.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004]

In the vehicle door lock device disclosed in the aforementioned JP2002-129810A, the pawl spring (54) and the open lever spring (43b) are disposed separately from each other, and a support pin (43a) for preventing pulling out of the open lever spring (43b) from the open lever (41) is held by means of a sub base plate (14) provided in the latch mechanism. This increases the size of the sub base plate (14), which in turn increases the size of the latch mechanism as a whole. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to reduce the size of a latch mechanism.

[0005]

In order to achieve the aforementioned object, the present invention provides a vehicle door lock device that includes: a latch mechanism including a latch and a pawl, the latch mechanism adapted to be capable of holding a vehicle door in a closed state relative to a vehicle body; a lock mechanism including an open lever linked with the pawl so that the door can be locked, the lock mechanism combined with the latch mechanism; a latch-side axial support portion provided in a latch housing of the latch mechanism which rotatably supports a coil portion of a pawl spring for biasing the pawl toward a default position; and a lock-side axial support portion provided in a lock housing of the lock mechanism which rotatably supports a coil portion of an open lever spring for biasing the open lever toward a default position. Here, at least part of the latch-side axial support portion overlaps with the lock-side axial support portion so that pulling out of the open lever spring is prevented by means of the latch-side axial support portion.

[0006]

In this case, it is preferable for the lock-side axial support portion and the latch-side axial support portion to be disposed off-center relative to each other, and for the pawl spring to be prevented from pulling out by means of the lock-side axial support portion.

[0007]

Furthermore, the latch-side axial support portion may have a first cylinder portion capable of making contact with the inner circumferential surface of the coil portion of the pawl spring so as to support the coil portion of the pawl spring, an opposing surface that opposes the lock-side axial support portion on the side of the first cylinder portion that faces the lock mechanism, and a second cylinder portion that protrudes from the opposing surface toward the lock mechanism; and the lock-side axial support portion may have a cylinder portion capable of making contact with the inner surface of the coil portion of the open lever spring so as to support the coil portion of the open lever spring and that has a center line that is the same as a center line of the second cylinder portion, a fitting hole provided in the cylinder portion into which the second cylinder portion can be fitted, and a leading end surface located on the leading end side of the cylinder portion and capable of making contact with at least part of the coil portion of the pawl spring.

[0008]

Furthermore, the vehicle door lock device may further include a connecting member for connecting the latch housing to the lock housing at the location of the center line of the second cylinder portion, with the lock-side axial support portion supporting the open lever rotatably on the outer circumferential surface of the cylinder portion.

[0009]

Furthermore, the open lever spring may include one end portion that extends from one end of the coil portion and fits with the open lever, and the other end portion that extends from the other end of the coil portion and fits with a locking portion provided in the lock housing of the lock mechanism; and the open lever may be disposed between the lock housing and the open lever spring.

[0010]

In the vehicle door lock device according to the present invention, at least part of the latch-side axial support portion overlaps with the lock-side axial support portion so that pulling out of the open lever spring is prevented by means of the latch-side axial support portion. Accordingly, it is not necessary to hold the open lever spring using a sub base plate of the latch mechanism. As a result, it is possible to reduce the whole size of the latch mechanism.

[001 1 ]

In addition, when carrying out the present invention as described above, the lock-side axial support portion and the latch-side axial support portion are disposed off-center relative to each other, and thus in the case where pulling out of the pawl spring is prevented by means of the lock-side axial support portion, rising upward of the pawl spring can be prevented by means of the lock-side axial support portion. Here, "off-center " means that the latch-side axial support portion and the lock-side axial support portion are disposed opposite to each other so that the axial direction of the latch-side axial support portion and the axial direction of the lock-side axial support portion are parallel to each other, and that when a cross-section of the latch-side axial support portion taken along the plane that is orthogonal to the axial direction thereof and a cross-section of the lock-side axial support portion taken along the plane that is orthogonal to the axial direction thereof are viewed from both of those axial directions, portions in which the cross-sections overlap and portions in which the cross-sections do not overlap are both present.

[0012]

In addition, when carrying out the present invention as described above, in the case where the latch-side axial support portion has a first cylinder portion capable of making contact with the inner circumferential surface of the coil portion of the pawl spring so as to support the coil portion of the pawl spring, an opposing surface that opposes the lock-side axial support portion on the side of the first cylinder portion that faces the lock mechanism, and a second cylinder portion that protrudes from the opposing surface toward the lock mechanism, and the lock-side axial support portion has a cylinder portion capable of making contact with the inner surface of the coil portion of the open lever spring so as to support the coil portion of the open lever spring and that has a center line that is the same as a center line of the second cylinder portion, a fitting hole provided in the cylinder portion into which the second cylinder portion can be fitted, and a leading end surface located on the leading end side of the cylinder portion and capable of making contact with at least part of the coil portion of the pawl spring, rising upward of the pawl spring can be prevented by means of the leading end surface of the cylinder portion.

[0013]

In addition, when carrying out the present invention as described above, in the case where the vehicle door lock device further includes a connecting member for connecting the latch housing to the lock housing at the location of the center line of the second cylinder portion, with the lock-side axial support portion supporting the open lever rotatably on the outer circumferential surface of the cylinder portion, the strength of the connection in the vicinity of the rotation axis of the open lever can be improved by matching the position of the connection created by the connecting member with the position of the rotation axis of the open lever.

[0014]

In addition, when carrying out the present invention as described above, in the case where the open lever spring includes one end portion that extends from one end of the coil portion and fits with the open lever, and the other end portion that extends from the other end of the coil portion and fits with a locking portion provided in the lock housing of the lock mechanism, and the open lever is disposed between the lock housing and the open lever spring; fitting one end of the open lever spring to the open lever and fitting the other end of the open lever spring to the locking portion of the lock housing makes it possible to hold the open lever with the open lever spring and provisionally hold the open lever spring and the open lever in the lock housing. Therefore, the ease of assembly when combining the lock mechanism and the latch mechanism to configure the vehicle door lock device can be improved.

[0015]

A vehicle door lock device according to the present invention may also be configured so as to include: a latch mechanism including a latch adapted to engage with or disengage from a striker assembled in a body of a vehicle when a door of the vehicle is opened and closed, a pawl adapted to hold or release the engagement of the latch with the striker, a latch housing for accommodating the latch and the pawl, a pawl spring having a coil portion for biasing the pawl, and a latch-side axial support portion provided in the latch housing so as to protrude toward the inner

circumferential side of the coil portion of the pawl spring for rotatably supporting the coil portion of the pawl spring; and a lock mechanism including an open lever linked with the pawl, an open lever spring having a coil portion for biasing the open lever, a lock housing for accommodating the open lever and the open lever spring, and a lock-side axial support portion provided in the lock housing so as to protrude toward the inner

circumferential side of the coil portion of the open lever spring for rotatably supporting the coil portion of the open lever spring, the lock mechanism being assembled to the latch mechanism. Here, the latch-side axial support portion has an opposing surface formed so as to oppose a leading end surface of the lock-side axial support portion, and the opposing surface includes a latch-side contact surface that makes contact with the leading end surface of the lock-side axial support portion, and a latch-side

non-contact surface formed outward in the radial direction of the latch-side axial support portion from the latch-side contact surface without making contact with the leading end surface of the lock-side axial support portion.

In this case, the leading end surface of the lock-side axial support portion may include a lock-side contact surface that makes contact with the latch-side contact surface, and a lock-side non-contact surface formed outward in the radial direction of the lock-side axial support portion from the lock-side contact surface without making contact with the latch-side contact surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016]

Fig. 1 is a side view illustrating an embodiment of a vehicle door lock device according to the present invention from the inside of a vehicle.

Fig. 2 is an exploded perspective view illustrating a state in which the vehicle door lock device shown in Fig. 1 has been divided into a lock mechanism and a latch mechanism.

Fig. 3 is a front view illustrating the lock mechanism shown in Fig. 2 from the front side of the vehicle.

Fig. 4 is a bottom view illustrating the lock mechanism shown in Fig. 3 from below.

Fig. 5 is a perspective view illustrating the lock mechanism shown in Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 at an angle from below.

Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view along the 6-6 line shown in Fig. 4.

Fig. 7 is a diagram illustrating the internal configuration of the latch mechanism shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 8 is a diagram illustrating a relationship between an open lever, an open link, a lift lever, and so on shown in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6.

Fig. 9 is a cross-sectional view along the 9-9 line shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 10 is a diagram illustrating a relationship between an open lever spring, a lock-side axial support portion, a latch-side axial support portion, and so on, viewed along the A-A line shown in Fig. 9.

Fig. 11 is a diagram illustrating a relationship between a pawl spring, a latch-side axial support portion, a lock-side axial support portion, and so on, viewed along the B-B line shown in Fig. 9.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0017]

Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be

described according to the drawings. Fig. 1 through Fig. 11 illustrate a vehicle door lock device 100 according to the present invention. The vehicle door lock device 100 is installed in a door (not shown) that is mounted on the front-right side of a vehicle. The vehicle door lock device 100 includes a latch mechanism 10 and a lock mechanism 20. The latch mechanism 10 and the lock mechanism 20 are connected to each other by two screws 31 and 32 (the screw 31 is indicated by a solid line in Fig. 1 , and the screw 32 is indicated by a broken line in Fig. 3 and by a solid line in Fig. 4 and Fig. 9).

[0018]

As is commonly known, the latch mechanism 10 is assembled in the door in order to hold the door in a closed state relative to a body (a vehicle body, which is not shown). As shown in Fig. 7, the latch mechanism 10 includes: a latch 11 that is capable of engaging with/disengaging from a

striker (not shown) fixed to the body; a pawl 12 that is capable of engaging with/disengaging from the latch 11 to hold/release the engagement of the latch 11 with the striker; a pawl spring 13 for biasing the pawl 12 toward a default position (in the direction in which the pawl 12 can engage with the latch 11 ); a lift lever 14 (see Fig. 6 and Fig. 8) assembled on a rotation shaft 12a of the pawl 12 and that rotates integrally with the pawl 12; and a latch housing 15 for accommodating these elements. The door is held in a closed state relative to the body by the latch 11 engaging with the striker.

[0019]

As is commonly known, the lock mechanism 20 is capable of holding or releasing the door into or from a locked state. As shown in Fig. 3 through Fig. 6 and in Fig. 8, the lock mechanism 20 includes: an open lever

21 liked with the pawl 12 of the latch mechanism 10; an open lever spring

22 for biasing the open lever 21 toward a default position; and a lock housing 23 for accommodating these elements. Note that the open lever 21 is configured so that an open link 24 assembled on the open lever 21 links with the pawl 12 of the latch mechanism 10 via the lift lever 14 of the latch mechanism 10. The position of the open link 24 is switched between a lock position and an unlock position by manipulating a lock knob or the like (not shown). By operating the open lever when the open link 24 is in the unlock position, the pawl 12 linked to the open link 24 moves against the biasing force of the pawl spring 13. As a result of the movement of the pawl 12, the engagement between the latch 11 and the striker is released and the door opens (that is, the locked state of the door is released). On the other hand, when the open link 24 is in the lock position, the link between the open link 24 and the pawl 12 is impeded. Thus, even if the

open link 24 moves, the pawl does not move. Accordingly, the engagement between the latch 1 1 and the striker is not released (that is, the locked state of the door is maintained).

[0020]

Incidentally, in this embodiment, a latch-side axial support portion 15a is provided in the latch housing 15 of the latch mechanism 10, as shown in Fig. 9 through Fig. 1 1. The latch-side axial support portion 15a is provided so as to protrude into the inner circumferential side of a coil portion 13a in the pawl spring 13, and rotatably supports the coil portion 13a. In addition, a lock-side axial support portion 23a is provided in the lock housing 23 of the lock mechanism 20. The lock-side axial support portion 23a is provided so as to protrude into the inner circumferential side of a coil portion 22a in the open lever spring 22, and rotatably supports the coil portion 22a. The lock-side axial support portion 23a and the latch-side axial support portion 15a are parallel in the axial direction, and cross-sectional external forms are circular. The lock-side axial support portion 23a and the latch-side axial support portion 15a are disposed off-center relative to each other, and are opposed in the axial direction of the screw 32. In other words, the lock-side axial support portion 23a and the latch-side axial support portion 15a are disposed eccentrically relative to each other while being opposed to each other. Furthermore, at least part of the latch-side axial support portion 15a overlaps with the lock-side axial support portion 23a, so that pulling out of the open lever spring 22 is prevented by means of the latch-side axial support portion 15a and pulling out of the pawl spring 13 is prevented by means of the lock-side axial support portion 23a.

[0021]

The latch-side axial support portion 15a includes a first cylinder portion 15a1 whose outer circumferential surface is capable of making contact with part of the inner circumferential surface of the coil portion 13a of the pawl spring 13 to support the coil portion 13a. The cross-sectional external form of the first cylinder portion 15a1 is circular. In addition, an opposing surface 15a2 that opposes the lock-side axial support portion 23a is formed in the side of the first cylinder portion 15a1 that faces toward the lock mechanism 20. In other words, an end surface of the first cylinder portion 15a1 forms an opposing surface 15a2 that is opposed to the surface of the leading end of the lock-side axial support portion 23a. Furthermore, the latch-side axial support portion 15a includes a second cylinder portion 15a3 that protrudes from the opposing surface 15a2 toward the lock mechanism 20. The cross-sectional external form of the second cylinder portion 15a3 is circular. The external diameter of the second cylinder portion 15a3 is smaller than the external diameter of the first cylinder portion 15a1. A center line O2 of the second cylinder portion 15a3 is parallel to a center line O1 of the first cylinder portion 15a1 and off-center relative to the center line 01 by a predetermined amount, and a through-hole 15a4 into which the screw 32 is threaded is provided in the center thereof. Note that the cross-sectional external forms of the first cylinder portion 15a1 and the second cylinder portion 15a3 need not be circular, and may be elliptical instead, for example.

[0022]

The lock-side axial support portion 23a includes a cylinder portion 23a1 whose outer circumferential surface is capable of making contact with part of the inner circumferential surface of the coil portion 22a of the open lever spring 22 to support the coil portion 22a. The cross-sectional external form of the cylinder portion 23a1 is circular, and the leading end of the cylinder portion 23a1 is open. In addition, the lock-side axial support portion 23a supports the open lever 21 rotatably on the outer circumferential surface of the cylinder portion 23a1. The center line 02 of the cylinder portion 23a1 is the same as the aforementioned center line O2 of the second cylinder portion 15a3. In addition, the cylinder portion 23a1 includes a fitting hole 23a2 into which the second cylinder portion 15a3 can fit. Furthermore, a through-hole 23a3, through which the screw 32 is passed, is provided in the lock-side axial support portion 23a in the base end area of the cylinder portion 23a1. The through-hole 23a3 is provided coaxially relative to the fitting hole 23a2.

[0023]

After the second cylinder portion 15a3 has been fitted into the fitting hole 23a2, or in other words, after the second cylinder portion 15a3 has been inserted inside of the inner circumferential surface of the cylinder portion 23a1 , the latch-side axial support portion 15a and the lock-side axial support portion 23a are connected as a single unit by threading the screw 32 into the through-hole 15a4. Connecting these elements as a single unit enhances the strength of the link in the vicinity of the rotation shaft of the open lever 21. In this state (the state shown in Fig. 9), the opposing surface 15a2 of the latch-side axial support portion 15a is capable of making contact with at least part of the coil portion 22a of the open lever spring 22. Specifically, the opposing surface 15a2 includes: a latch-side contact surface S1 that makes contact with a leading end surface 23a4 of the cylinder portion 23a1 ; and a latch-side non-contact surface S2 formed

outward in the radial direction of the first cylinder portion 15a1 from the latch-side contact surface S1 without making contact with the leading end surface 23a4 of the cylinder portion 23a1. Accordingly, rising upward of the open lever spring 22 (that is, moving of the open lever spring 22 toward the latch mechanism 10) is prevented by means of at least part of the coil portion 22a of the open lever spring 22 making contact with the opposing surface 15a2 (the latch-side non-contact surface S2). In addition, the leading end surface 23a4 of the cylinder portion 23a1 of the lock-side axial support portion 23a is capable of making contact with at least part of the coil portion 13a of the pawl spring 13. Specifically, the leading end surface 23a4 of the cylinder portion 23a1 includes: a lock-side contact surface S3 that makes contact with the latch-side contact surface S1 ; and a lock-side non-contact surface S4 formed outward in the radial direction of the cylinder portion 23a1 from the lock-side contact surface S3 without making contact with the latch-side contact surface S1. Rising upward of the pawl spring 13 (that is, moving of the pawl spring 13 toward the lock mechanism 20) is prevented by means of at least part of the coil portion 13a of the pawl spring 13 making contact with the leading end surface 23a4 (the lock-side

non-contact surface S4).

[0024]

In addition, in this embodiment, the latch housing 15 is provided with a contact surface 15c that is capable of making contact with part of the coil portion 22a of the open lever spring 22. The contact surface 15c is formed along the same plane as the aforementioned opposing surface 15a2, and effectively prevents rising upward of the open lever spring 22 by working in tandem with the opposing surface 15a2. Note that the contact surface 15c

need not be provided if the opposing surface 15a2 can prevent rising upward of the open lever spring 22 to a sufficient degree.

[0025]

Furthermore, as shown in Fig. 7, in this embodiment, the pawl spring 13 includes: a one end portion 13b that extends from one end of the coil portion 13a and fits with the pawl 12; and the other end portion 13c that extends from the other end of the coil portion 13a and fits with a locking portion 15b provided in the latch housing 15 of the latch mechanism 10. In addition, as shown in Fig. 5, the open lever spring 22 includes: one end portion 22b that extends from one end of the coil portion 22a and fits with the open lever 21 ; and the other end portion 22c that extends from the other end of the coil portion 22a and fits with a locking portion 23b provided in the lock housing 23 of the lock mechanism 20 (note that the other end portion 22c is not fitted with the locking portion 23b in ig.5). As shown in Fig. 5 and Fig. 9, the open lever 21 is disposed between the lock housing 23 and the open lever spring 22.

[0026]

As shown in Fig. 10 and Fig. 1 1 , in the embodiment as described above, at least part of the latch-side axial support portion 15a overlaps with the lock-side axial support portion 23a, so that pulling out of the open lever spring 22 is prevented by means of the latch-side axial support portion 15a (rising upward of the open lever spring 22 is prevented). Accordingly, it is not necessary to hold the open lever spring 22 using a sub base plate (not shown in the drawings) of the latch mechanism 10, which in turn makes it possible to reduce the whole size of the latch mechanism 10.

[0027]

In the embodiment as described above, the lock-side axial support portion 23a and the latch-side axial support portion 15a are disposed off-center relative to each other, as shown in Fig. 10 and Fig. 11 , and it is thus possible to prevent rising upward of the pawl spring 13 (the coil portion 13a) by means of the lock-side axial support portion 23a. Furthermore, as shown in Fig. 5, in the embodiment as described above, the open lever spring 22 includes one end portion 22b that extends from one end of the coil portion 22a and fits with the open lever 21 , and the other end portion 22c that extends from the other end of the coil portion 22a and fits with a locking portion 23b provided in the lock housing 23 of the lock mechanism 20; and the open lever 21 is disposed between the lock housing 23 and the open lever spring 22. Accordingly, the open lever 21 can be held by means of the open lever spring 22 by fitting the one end portion 22b of the open lever spring 22 with the open lever 21 and by fitting the other end portion 22c of the open lever spring 22 with the locking portion 23b of the lock housing 23. This makes it possible for the open lever spring 22 and the open lever 21 to be provisionally held in the lock housing 23. Therefore, the ease of assembly when combining the lock mechanism 20 and the latch mechanism 10 to configure the vehicle door lock device 100 can be improved.

[0028]

As shown in Fig. 9 through Fig. 11 , in the embodiment as described above, the cylinder portion 23a1 and the first cylinder portion 15a1 are disposed so that part of the external form of the cylinder portion 23a1 of the lock-side axial support portion (that is, the leading end surface 23a4) is eccentric (off-center) relative to the first cylinder portion 15a1 of the latch-side axial support portion 15a, so as to be shifted outward in the radial direction beyond the outer circumference of the first cylinder portion 15a1 . However, when carrying out the present invention, the lock-side axial support portion 23a and the latch-side axial support portion 15a may be disposed off-center relative to each other so that the cylinder portion 23a1 of the lock-side axial support portion 23a is off-center within the range of the external form of the first cylinder portion 15a1 of the latch-side axial support portion 15a. In this case, it is preferable to form a portion that prevents rising upward of the pawl spring 13 in the latch housing 15.

[0029]

In addition, when carrying out the present invention, the cylinder portion 23a1 of the lock-side axial support portion 23a and the first cylinder portion 15a1 of the latch-side axial support portion 15a may coaxially be disposed. In this case, the configuration may be such that the external diameter of the cylinder portion 23a1 is set to be smaller than the external diameter of the first cylinder portion 15a1 , and part of the latch-side axial support portion 15a overlaps with the lock-side axial support portion 23a while the other parts of the latch-side axial support portion 15a do not overlap with the lock-side axial support portion 23a (in other words, the configuration may be such that part of the latch-side axial support portion 15a makes contact with the lock-side axial support portion 23a and the other parts of the latch-side axial support portion 15a protrudes from the

latch-side axial support portion 15a in the radial direction thereof without making contact with the latch-side axial support portion 15a), and may be such that pulling out of the open lever spring 22 is prevented by means of the opposing surface 15a2 of the latch-side axial support portion 15a. In this case, too, it is preferable to form a portion that prevents rising upward of the pawl spring 13 in the latch housing 15.

[0030]

Although in the embodiment as described above, the present invention is implemented as the vehicle door lock device 100 that is installed in a door (not shown) that is mounted on the front-right side of a vehicle, it goes without saying that the present invention can likewise be implemented as a vehicle door lock device that is installed in a door that is mounted in the front-left side of a vehicle and as a vehicle door lock device that is installed in a door that is mounted in the rear-right side or the rear-left side of a vehicle, and that the present invention can also be modified in various ways.