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1. WO1997041023 - SYSTEME D'ACTIONNEMENT A RESSORT POUR CAPOTS DE VEHICULES

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

CLAIMS
1. A vehicle hood mountable to a vehicle , the vehicle having a frame, comprising:
a hood extending from a frontal portion to a rearward portion;
at least one hinge assembly mounted between the frontal portion of the hood and frontal portions of the frame to permit movement of the hood relative to the frame about a hood axis between an open and a closed position;
a spring actuator mounted between the frame and hood which exerts force to assist movement of the hood between the open and closed positions;
a locking device operably connected to the spring actuator and operable in response to movement of the hood to iock the hood in an open position; and
wherein the locking device is movable to a release position to permit the hood to move from said open position to the closed position.
2. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the locking device further comprises a resetting device operable in response to movement of the hood toward the closed position to shift the locking device to a reset position for automatic operation to lock the hood in the open position responsive to a successive movement of the hood to the open position.
3. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the locking device is manually movable to the release position.
4. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the spring actuator is extensible to an extended position and is mounted between the vehicle frame and hood to extend responsive to motion of the hood to the open position and wherein the locking device is positioned on the spring actuator to lock the spring actuator in the extended position at the open position of the hood.
5. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the spring actuator includes an actuator casing and an actuator rod slidably mounted to the actuator casing;
wherein the locking device is comprised of:
a lock member pivotably mounted to the actuator casing;
a first actuator catch on the lock member pivotable with the lock handle between a locking position for locking engagement with the actuator rod to prevent longitudinal motion of the actuator rod with respect to the actuator casing;

an operator on the lock member positioned for engagement with the actuator rod to shift the actuator catch clear of the actuator rod responsive to movement of the actuator rod to the retracted position.
6. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the spring actuator includes an actuator casing and an actuator rod slidably received within the actuator casing for movement between an extended position and a retracted position responsive to movement of the hood between the open and closed positions and wherein the locking device is positioned on the spring actuator to operate in response to sliding movement of the actuator rod to the extended position to lock the actuator rod in the extended position at the open position of the hood.
7. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the spring actuator includes an elongated actuator casing having a first and a second end and an actuator rod slidably received within the actuator casing and projecting from the second end of the actuator casing; and
a coil spring within the actuator casing engaging the actuator casing and actuator rod to bias the actuator rod in one direction.
8. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the spring actuator includes an elongated actuator casing having a first and a second end and an actuator rod slidably received within the actuator casing and projecting from the second end of the actuator casing;
the first end of the actuator casing being mounted to the vehicle frame at a location thereon spaced from the hood axis;
a coil spring within the actuator casing engaging the actuator casing and actuator rod to bias the actuator rod in one direction;
wherein the locking device is comprised of a lock handle pivotably mounted to the actuator casing; and
a first actuator catch on the lock handle pivotable with the lock handle between a locking position for locking engagement with the actuator rod to prevent longitudinal motion of the actuator rod with respect to the actuator casing.
9. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the spring actuator includes an elongated actuator casing having a first and a second end and an actuator rod slidably received within the actuator casing and projecting from the second end of the actuator casing;

the first end of the actuator casing being mounted to the vehicle frame at a location thereon spaced from the hood axis;
a spring within the actuator casing engaging the actuator casing and actuator rod to bias the actuator rod in one direction toward a retracted position adjacent the second end of the actuator casing, the actuator rod being slidable within the actuator casing toward an extended position against yieldable resistance of the spring;
wherein the locking device is comprised of a lock handle pivotably mounted to the actuator casing; and
a first actuator catch on the lock handle pivotable with the lock handle between a locking position for locking engagement with the actuator rod approximately at the extended position thereof to prevent movement of the actuator rod to the retracted position.
10. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the spring actuator includes a first end mounted to the vehicle frame at a location thereon above the hood axis and a second end mounted to the hood adjacent the rearward portion of the hood above the first end.
11. A vehicle hood according to claim 1 wherein the spring actuator is a primary spring actuator mounting the locking device and further comprising an auxiliary spring actuator mounted between the hood and vehicle frame substantially parallel to and in lateral opposition to the primary spring actuator.
12. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, comprising:
an elongated actuator casing having a first and a second end;
a first mounting member connected to the first end of the actuator casing; an actuator rod slidably received within the actuator casing and projecting from the second end of the actuator casing;
a second mounting member on the actuator rod;
wherein one of the mounting members is configured for attachment to a vehicle frame and the other one of the mounting members is configured for attachment to a vehicle hood;
a single coil spring within the actuator casing, engaging the actuator rod and acting against the actuator casing to longitudinally bias the actuator rod in one direction;

the mounting members being positionable within a vehicle between a hinged vehicle hood movable on a hood axis between an open and a closed position and a vehicle frame such that the actuator rod is biased against the vehicle hood in the closed position to assist opening the hood and such that the actuator rod is biased against the vehicle hood in the open position to assist closing the hood.
13. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly according to claim 12 and further comprising a locking device operably connected to the actuator casing to limit movement of the actuator rod relative to the actuator casing.
14. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly according to claim 12 wherein the actuator rod is movable relative to the actuator casing between an extended position and a retracted position; and further comprising a locking device operably connected to the actuator casing to limit movement of the actuator rod at one of the extended or retracted positions.
15. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly according to claim 12 wherein the actuator rod is movable relative to the actuator casing between an extended position and a retracted position; and further comprising a locking device operably connected to the actuator casing and positionable to a locking position to limit movement of the actuator rod at one of the extended or retracted positions; and wherein the locking device is configured to be shifted from the locking position to a release position to permit the actuator rod to move between the extended position and the retracted position.
16. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly according to claim 12 wherein the actuator rod is movable relative to the actuator casing between an extended position and a retracted position; and further comprising a locking device operably connected to the actuator casing to limit movement of the actuator rod at one of the extended or retracted positions;
wherein the locking device is configured to be shifted to a release position to permit the actuator rod to move between the extended position and the retracted position; and
wherein the locking device also includes a resetting device operable in response to movement of the hood toward the closed position to shift the locking device to a reset locking position from the release position in response to movement of the actuator rod with respect to the actuator casing.

17. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly according to claim 12 wherein the actuator rod is movable relative to the actuator casing between an extended position and a retracted position; and further comprising: a locking device operably connected to the actuator casing and operable responsive to movement of the actuator rod relative to the actuator casing to lock the actuator rod at the extended position.
18. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly according to claim 12, wherein the actuator rod includes a plunger head engaging the coil spring and wherein the actuator rod passes longitudinally through the coils of the coil spring.
19. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly according to claim 12, wherein the actuator rod is movable within the actuator casing between an extended and a retracted position relative to the actuator casing and wherein the coil spring is positioned within the actuator casing to bias the actuator rod to the retracted position.
20. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly according to claim 12, wherein the actuator rod includes a plunger head engaging the coil spring and wherein the actuator rod passes longitudinally through the coils of the coil spring; and
wherein the actuator rod is movable within the actuator casing between an extended and a retracted position relative to the actuator casing and wherein the coil spring is positioned within the actuator casing to bias the actuator rod to the retracted position.
21. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, comprising:
an elongated actuator casing having a first and a second end;
a first mounting member at the first end of the actuator casing
an actuator rod slidably received within the actuator casing and projecting from the second end of the actuator casing;
a second mounting member on the actuator rod;
wherein one of the mounting members is configured for attachment to a vehicle frame and the other one of the mounting members is configured for attachment to a vehicle hood;
a spring within the actuator casing, engaging the actuator rod and acting against the actuator casing to longitudinally bias the actuator rod;

a locking device operably connected to the casing to limit movement of the actuator rod relative to the actuator casing.
22. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the actuator rod is movable between an extended and a retracted position relative to the actuator casing and wherein the locking device is configured to lock the actuator rod to the casing at an extended position.

23. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the actuator rod is movable between an extended and a retracted position relative to the actuator casing and wherein the locking device is configured to automatically lock the actuator rod to the casing in an extended position.
24. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the locking device is configured to selectively lock the actuator rod to the casing and for manual operation to release the actuator rod for movement relative to the actuator casing.
25. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein actuator rod is movable between an extended and a retracted position relative to the actuator casing and wherein the locking device is configured to selectively lock the actuator rod in one of the extended and retracted positions and to release the actuator rod for movement relative to the actuator casing and wherein the locking device further comprises a resetting device operable in response to movement of the actuator rod to shift the locking device to a reset locking position for automatic operation to lock the actuator rod in said one of the extended and retracted positions.
26. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the spring is positioned to yieldably urge the actuator rod to a retracted position and wherein the locking device is positioned relative to the actuator casing and actuator rod to lock the actuator rod in the extended position.
27. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the spring is positioned to yieldably urge the actuator rod to a retracted position and wherein the locking device is configured to automatically lock the actuator rod in the extended position in response to movement of the actuator rod to the extended position.
28. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the spring is positioned to yieldably urge the actuator rod to a retracted position and wherein the locking device is configured to automatically lock the actuator rod in the extended position in response to movement of the actuator rod to the extended position.
29. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the spring is a single coil spring within the actuator casing, engaging the actuator rod and acting against the actuator casing to longitudinally bias the actuator rod in one direction.
30. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the locking device is mounted on the actuator casing.
31. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, according to claim 21 wherein the mounting members are configured to be positioned within a vehicle between a hinged vehicle hood movable on a hood axis between an open and a closed position and a vehicle frame such that the plunger and actuator rod are biased against the vehicle hood in the closed position to assist opening the hood and such that the plunger and actuator are biased against the vehicle hood in the open position to assist closing the hood.

AMENDED CLAIMS
[recei ved by the International Bureau on 8 September 1 997 ( 08.09.97) ; original cla ims 1 -1 1 amended ; remaining cla ims unchanged (3 pages) ]

1. A vehicle hood actuator system mountable to a vehicle , the vehicle having a frame and a hood which is opened and closed by movement of the hood relative to the frame , comprising:
5 at least one actuator mounted to exert force between the frame and hood ; said at least one actuator being constructed and mounted so as to exert force to assist opening of the hood when the hood is in a closed position, and to exert force to assist closing the hood when the hood is in an open position;
w a locking device operably connected to said at least one actuator; said locking device being operable in response to movement of the hood and associated movement of the at least one actuator to cause the locking device to automatically lock the at least one actuator and hood in an open position when the hood is moved into the open is position; and
wherein the locking device is movable into a release position to permit the hood to move from said open position toward the closed position.
2. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 20 wherein said at least one actuator includes two actuators connected along opposing sides of the hood.
3. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one actuator includes two actuators connected along opposing sides of the hood, and wherein one of said two

25 actuators includes said locking device to thereby allow a single user to unlock the locking device from one side of the vehicle to free the hood for movement into the closed position.
4. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one actuator includes a casing;
30 said at least one actuator further comprising a spring member which is within the casing.

5. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one actuator includes a casing and an actuator rod which is slidable relative to the casing;
said at least one actuator further comprising a spring member which is within the casing and is acted upon by the casing and actuator rod.
6. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein said at least one actuator includes a tubular casing and an actuator rod which is slidable relative to the tubular casing;
said at least one actuator further comprising a compression mechanical spring member which is enclosed within the tubular casing and is compressed between the tubular casing and actuator rod when the at least one actuator is extended in length.
7. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein the locking device further comprises a resetting device operable in response to movement of the actuator and hood toward the closed position of the hood, to reset the locking device for automatic locking in a subsequent movement of the hood into the open position.
8. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein the locking device is manually movable to the release position.

9. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein the at least one actuator is mounted to extend in length as the hood is moved toward the open position or toward the closed position.

10. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein the at least one actuator includes a casing and an actuator rod slidably mounted to the actuator casing;
wherein the locking device includes:
a lock member pivotably mounted to the casing;
a first catch on the lock member for locking engagement with the actuator rod to stop longitudinal motion of the actuator rod with respect to the casing;
an operator on the lock member for shifting the first catch clear of the actuator rod when the hood is moving into the open position.

11. A vehicle hood actuator system according to claim 1 wherein the at least one actuator includes a spring member which is preloaded to provide an initial force .
12. A vehicle hood opening and closing assist spring assembly, comprising:
an elongated actuator casing having a first and a second end;
a first mounting member connected to the first end of the actuator casing;
an actuator rod slidably received within the actuator casing and projecting from the second end of the actuator casing;
a second mounting member on the actuator rod;
wherein one of the mounting members is configured for attachment to a vehicle frame and the other one of the mounting members is configured for attachment to a vehicle hood;
a single coil spring within the actuator casing, engaging the actuator rod and acting against the actuator casing to longitudinally bias the actuator rod in one direction;