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Title:
METHOD OF FUNCTIONING THE RETRACTABLE HARD TOP SYSTEM FOR CONVERTIBLE VEHICLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/175673
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Method of functioning the retractable hard top system for convertible vehicles which implies splitting the ceiling in the middle (throught the longitudinal axis of the vehicle), mooving the rearwindow with the frame-like area arrount it on top of the trunk lid, opening the upper areas of the rear wings and folding compactly the remaining components of the roof inside the lateral areas of the trunk. This method significantly increases the usable volume of the luggage compartment and offers an easier access to the items carried in the trunk. Also, this method requires a less complex operation system which leads to less expensive manufactoring and maintenance costs.

Inventors:
VÎLCELARU, Daniel (Strada Fabricii Nr. 25, Sc. 2 Ap. 93, Et., Sector 6 1 Bucureşti, 06082, RO)
Application Number:
RO2015/000016
Publication Date:
November 03, 2016
Filing Date:
June 30, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
VÎLCELARU, Daniel (Strada Fabricii Nr. 25, Sc. 2 Ap. 93, Et., Sector 6 1 Bucureşti, 06082, RO)
International Classes:
B60J7/14; B60J1/18; B60J7/00; B60J7/20
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008064695A12008-06-05
WO2007136312A12007-11-29
WO2005095134A12005-10-13
Foreign References:
EP1245419A12002-10-02
EP2241466A12010-10-20
DE10025051C12001-11-15
US20070018479A12007-01-25
DE102004021552A12005-12-08
EP1151884A12001-11-07
DE102012002298A12013-08-08
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Claims:
CLAIMS

I claim:

1. A method of functioning the convertible system on a hard top convertible vehicle wherein the horizontal part of the roof consists of two segments connecting the front pillars and the rear pillars and two elements identical in shape and size obtained by splitting the ceiling in the middle throughout the longitudinal axis of the vehicle.

2. A method of functioning the convertible system on a hard top convertible vehicle according to claim number 1 characterized in that the two horizontal elemnts of the ceiling detach from one another throughout the longitudinal axis of the vehicle by raising their lateral sides away from the segments connecting the front pillars and the rear pillars.

3. A method of functioning the convertible system on a hard top convertible vehicle according to claim number 2 characterized in that the rear window with a frame-like area arroud it are moved and fixed on top of the trunk lid.

4. A method of functioning the convertible system on a hard top convertible vehicle according to claim number 3 wherein the upper areas of the rear wings open to the sides forming two openings to access the lateral areas inside the trunk.

5. A method of functioning the convertible system on a hard top convertible vehicle according to claim number 4 wherein the two symetrical assemblies formed by the rear pillars, the connecting segments of the front pillars and the rear pillars and the horizontal elements of the ceiling move to the rear of the vehicle and folds compactly through the openings made by the upper parts of the rear wings into the lateral sides of the boot.

6. A method of functioning the convertible system on a hard top convertible vehicle characterized in that when the hard top is open the base of the two arms that move the rear window and its frame detach from the surrounding area in order to let the rear window to move together with the trunk lid when it is opening or closing.

Description:
METHOD OF FUNCTIONING THE RETRACTABLE HARD TOP SYSTEM FOR

CONVERTIBLE VEHICLES

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a method of functioning the retractable hard top for vehicles.

Method of functioning the retractable hard top system for convertible vehicles which implies splitting the ceiling in the middle, mooving the rearwindow on top of the trunk lid and folding compactly the remaining components of the roof inside the lateral areas of the trunk.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the pesent, the automotive industry proposes two distinct solutions for convertible cars:

- retractable soft top

- retractable hard top

The retractable soft top is an articulating structural framework with a flexible cloth or plastic outer skin.

In the extended position, the front end of the articulating framework connects to the top of the windshield frame and the outer skin extends over the passenger compartment.

In the retracted position, the articulating framework with the outer skin folds into a compact form in the area between passenger compartment and the luggage compartment.

In comparison with non-convertible cars, the soft top convertible cars have several disadvantages:

- poor thermal isolation

- poor phonic isolation

- less resistant to break-in attempts

The second technical solution offered by the automotive industry for convertible cars is the retractable hard top system. This consists in splitting the hard top in two or more rigid elements that are mechanically articulated and they can be repositioned into a storage area behind the passenger compartment.

Regarding the number of mooving elements of the hard top and the way these elements are moved, folded and stacked, there are several design variations and the most common are the„clamshell" design and the„stacking" design.

The most advanced technical solution which provides improved storage efficiency is considered to be the„stacking" design. In this system the hard top is divided in three elements.

When the hard top is retracted using a very complex aerticulating mechanism, the roof elements are mooved and stacked such that the inner surface (with concave shape) of one segment is put over the outter surface of another segment (with convex shape). Placing the concave face of one segment adjacent to the convex face of another segment results in more efficient space utilisation.

The ansamble of three segments in„stacking" position is then stored in the luggage compartment by opening the trunk lid.

Disadvantages of this solution:

- a very complex mechanical, electrical and electronic system required wich leeds to increased costs of production and exploatation

- reduced reliability

- when the hard top is retracted, the system occupies most of the luggage

compartment The technical solution that this invention wants to addres is the way in wich the hard top is devided and the way the mobile parts are repositioned relatif to the vechicle's body so that it can be offered a much bigger space for luggage in the trunk and a more easy way of accesing them.

The horizontal area of the hard top is composed from two segments that are located sideways and makes the connection between the front pillars and the back pillars and two symmetric elements in the middle part wich split apart in the middle from the top of the windshield frame to the top of the rearwindow frame.

The first step in the openning process is splitting apart the horizontal elementsof the hard top by raising their exterior margins away from the two segment wich connect the front pillars and the back pillars.

The rearwindow with a all-around frame is placed with two moving arms on top of the trunk lid. The frame is shapped in such manner that it forms a smallaileron in the rear.

The top of the back wings of the vehicle open sideways and form two acces zones to the lateral parts of the trunk.

The connectig segments of the front and rear pillars detach from the top of the front pillar, the rear pillars rotate with the point of rotation on their base, to the rear of the vehicle. The connecting segments rotate with the point of rotation the joining point with the rear pillars, toward the front of the vehicle, approching the rear pillars.

The rear pillars, the connecting segments and the horizontal elements folds compactly and enter thru the acces zones on top of the back wings to the storage areas diposed in the lateral parts of the trunk.

The openning process with closing the top of tha back wings of the vehicle.

The closing process of the hard top is carried out by following the steps described above in reverse order.

In the open position of the hard top, in order to be able to operate the trunk lid, the base of the mobile arms that move the rearwindow and its frame detach from the surrounding area. In this way, the rearwindow and iots frame that are fixed to the trunk lid can move allong when opening and closing the lid.

When the closing process of the hard top starts, the base of the mobile arms secures back to the surrounding area.

The advantages of the invention:

- it significantly increases the usable area of the luggage compartment

- it provides an easier access to the luggage compartment

- it requires a less complex articulating mechanism wich leads to reduced

production costs, reduces mentenance costs and increased reliability.

Brief description of the drawings:

Fig. 1 is a rear left side-elevation view of a part of a vehicle with a retractable hard top in the closed position, according to the present invention.

Fig. 2 is a rear left side-elevation view of a part of a vehicle when the first

components of the system are moving. It is the beggining of the opening process of the hard top.

Fig. 3 is a rear left side-elevation view of a part of a vehicle when the rearwindow and the frame around it are moving towards the trunk lid.

Fig. 4 is a left side-view of a part of a vehicle after the horizontal elements of the hard top are elevated and the rearwindow and its frame are moving toward the trunk lid.

Fig. 5 is a rear left side-elevation view of a part of a vehicle showing the final position of the rearwindow and its frame on the trunk lid.

Fig. 6 is a rear left side-elevation view of a part of a vehicle showing the opening of the top of the back wings of the vehicle.

Fig. 7 is a rear left side-elevation view of a part of a vehicle showing the detaching from the front pillars and the move of the hard top components toward the rear of the vehicle.

Fig. 8 is a rear left side-elevation view of a part of a vehicle without the trunk lid showing the rotating points of the rear pillars.

Fig. 9 and Fig. 10 are rear left side-elevation views of a part of a vehicle showing the hard top components moving and folding before entering into the storage area on the left and on the right side of the luggage compartement.

Fig. 11 is a rear left side-elevation view of a part of a vehicle showing the final position of the hard top components in the luggage compartment.

Fig. 12 is a top right rear end view showing the final position of the hard top components in the luggage compartement with the trunk lid open.

Fig. 13 is a top view from the left rear end of the vehicle showing the end of the opening process when the top of the back wings are closed.

Fig. 14 is a sectional view of the left rear end of the vehicle showing the final position of the hard top components in the open position in the luggage compartment.

Fig. 15 is a top left rear end view showing the base of the rearwindow's mooving arms that are detached from the surrounding area when the trunk lid is open.

The present invention provides a method of folding the hard top of convertible vehicles characterized by the fact that the rearwindow and the frame-like area arround it remanin outside the vehicle's body and it is moved and fixed on the trunk lid and the other components of the hard top fold compactly in the left and right sides of the inside of the trunk.

The following describes an ebodiment of the invention in connection with Figs. 1 -15: Fig. 1 is showing the main components of the convertible system with the closed hard top.

The ceiling is composed of identical horizontal elements 2a and 2b, the connecting horizontal segments 3 a and 3b, the rear pillars 4a and 4b and the panel 12 formed by the frame 5 and the rear window 6. There are also shown the upper parts of the rear wings 7a and 7b, the trunk lid 8, the articulating connections 13a and 13b of the segments 3a, 3b and the pillars 4a, 4b, the joining area 22 between the elements 2a and 2b, the upper frame of the windscreen 1 and the front pillar 31a.

Fig. 2 is showing the beginning of the opening process by lifting the outer lateral areas of 2a and 2b away fram the segments 3 a and 3b, achieving at the same time their division in the area 22.

Further, the panel 12 separates from the rear pillars 4a and 4b with the mobile arms 9a and 9b and it is mowed and fixed on top of trunk lid.

The arms 9a and 9b performs a rotational movement toward the rear of the vehicle with rotation points 99a and 99b (Fig. 4 and Fig. 15) and simultaneosly the pistons 10a and 1 Ob push up the panel 12 to ensure parallelism with the trunk lid 8.

The base 15a of the arm 9a and the base 15b of the arm 9b (Fig. 15) disangages from the area 99 so that the panel 12 can follow the movement of the trunk lid 8 when it opens and closes with the hard top open.

Fig. 5 shows the final position of the panel 12 when it is fixed to the trunk lid 8. Panel 12 has the same shape as the horizontal part of the trunk lid 8 and closely follows the shape of the inner sides of the rear wings. At the back end the panel 12 forms a small spoiler 11. Fig. 6 shows the next stage of the opening process when the upper parts of the rear wings 7a and 7b rise following a outward circular motion with the rotation points 14a and 14b.

The assembly composed of the rear pillar 4a, segment 3a and element 2a and the assembly 4b, 3b and 2b detach from the top of the windscreen frame 1 and rise with a circular motion with points of rotation 77a and 77b toward the back of the vehicle (Fig. 8).

When segments 3a and 3b reach a vertical position, the elements 2a and 2b move their inner parts toward the front of the vehicle (Fig. 9). When 3 a forms an angle of approximatly 90° with 2a and 3b forms an angle of approximatly 90° with 2b, the assembly 3a, 2a and the assembly 3b, 2b start a downward rotation with points of rotation 13a and 13b (Fig, 10).

The assembly 4a, 3a and 2a and the assembly 4b, 3b and 2b go into the sides areas of the boot through the apertures provided by 7a and 7b (Fig, 11) following the trajectory imposed by the points of rotation 77a ,77b and 13a, 13b. Their final position inside the trunk is shown in Fig. 12 and Fig. 14.

The opening process of the hard top ends by returning to the closed position of the 7a and 7b (Fig. 13).

The closing process of the hard top runs by following the above steps in reverse order.