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Title:
SUSPENSION SYSTEM FOR VEHICLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/016022
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A front and rear suspension system designed for off-road vehicles that replaces the vehicle's original suspension system and attaches to the vehicle's axle and chassis using a set of adapters and the vehicle's original holes. The system includes a coil spring and shock absorber.

Inventors:
ZOHAR, Hadar (TeI Adashim, 19315, IL)
Application Number:
IL2010/000599
Publication Date:
February 10, 2011
Filing Date:
July 27, 2010
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
ASFIR LTD (TeI Adashim, 19315, IL)
ZOHAR, Hadar (TeI Adashim, 19315, IL)
International Classes:
B60G13/00; B60G15/00; F16F7/00; F16F9/00; F16F11/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAHAN, Meir (43 Givati Street, Ramat Gan, 52232, IL)
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Claims:
Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A front suspension system designed for off-road vehicles that replaces the vehicle's original front suspension system and attaches to the vehicle's axle and chassis using the vehicle's original holes. The suspension system comprises a coil spring and a shock absorber, as well as a set of adapters used to attach the suspension system to existing holes in the vehicle's chassis and axle.

2. The suspension system mentioned in Claim No. 1 whereby the set of adapters includes two adapters: (1) A bottom front fork-shaped adapter that has a shaft that protrudes downward and is designed to be inserted into the original hole in the vehicle's bottom base; this bottom front adapter comprises two vertical, parallel arms through which a horizontal screw or rod passes and to which the bottom of the said shock absorber is attached; and (2) an upper front tower-shaped adapter that comprises a round base on which there are two parallel (slightly convex) vertical plates with horizontal holes at the top of each.

The two said plates are joined at their top by a horizontal screw that is inserted through the two said horizontal holes. The base of said upper front adapter, which has four holes, is attached to the chassis and more specifically to the vehicle's original upper base using the corresponding original four holes in the original upper base. The said adapters are used to attach the said coil spring and shock absorber to the existing holes in the vehicle's chassis and axle.

3. The suspension system mentioned in Claim No. 1, whereby the said coil spring has the approximate following characteristics: Decompressed length - 400 mm.; coil diameter - 16 mm.; spring force constant - 38 Nm; and the said shock absorber has the approximate following characteristics: Length in decompressed state - 617 mm.; damping force 360R/80C.

4. A rear suspension system designed for off-road vehicles that replaces the vehicle's original front suspension system and attaches to the vehicle's axle and chassis using the vehicle's original holes. The system includes: a coil spring and a shock absorber, as well as a set of adapters used to attach the suspension system to existing holes in the vehicle's chassis and axle.

5. The suspension system mentioned in Claim No. 4 whereby the set of adapters includes two adapters, a conic guide, and a limiting belt: The upper rear adapter has a central plate-like part that has two protruding horizontal arms and three horizontal holes that are designed to attach the said adapter to the existing holes in the vehicle's chassis; The bottom rear adapter is shaped like a fork; The said conic guide is cone-shaped whereby its wide side is attached directly to the vehicle's original upper base and its narrow side is inserted into the said coil spring; The said limiting belt is made of a material such as polyester and its function is to limit the axle's distance from the chassis. The said adapters are used to attach the said coil spring and shock absorber to the existing holes in the vehicle's chassis and axle.

6. The suspension system mentioned in Claim No. 4, whereby the said coil spring has the approximate following characteristics: Decompressed length - 450 mm.; coil diameter - 21 mm.; spring force - 68/100 Nm or 75/115 Nm; and the said shock absorber has the following characteristics: Length in decompressed state - 895 mm.; damping force 360R/80C.

Description:
Suspension System for Vehicles

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention refers to a vehicle suspension system that includes a coil spring and a shock absorber.

BACKGROUND ART

All vehicles are equipped with suspension systems designed to provide comfort and stability on the road during travel. The term suspension system refers to a system of components that connect the chassis of the vehicle to the vehicle's wheel system. The suspension system usually includes a soil spring and a shock- absorber. Four-wheel vehicles have a separate suspension system for each of the four wheels.

The main objective of the coil spring is to enable the vehicle (the chassis) to travel along a horizontal line that is as straight as possible, providing comfort of ride, while the vehicle's wheel system rises and falls vertically according to the bumps and the course of the road. The two main types of coil springs are regular or linear coil springs, which are referred to simply as coil springs, and progressive coil springs. The main function of the shock absorber is to restrain the periodic oscillations of the coil spring and induce constant wheel grip on the road surface. Any average professional in the field is familiar with the internal structure and mode of operation of both shock absorbers and coil springs (regular and progressive), and so detailed and wordy descriptions are unnecessary.

One end of the vehicle's suspension is attached to the body of the vehicle while the other end is attached to the vehicle's axle, which is a component of the vehicle's wheel system. The coil spring is usually not attached to the vehicle's chassis or axle in a fixed or permanent manner. The coil spring is positioned on the lower base, which is connected to the axle, and is compressed from above by the upper base, which is connected to the vehicle's body. Both ends of the shock absorber are attached to the vehicle, whereby the top of the shock absorber is attached to the chassis and the bottom is attached to the axle.

Vehicle manufacturers design special suspension systems for each vehicle model according to the vehicle's dimensions, weight, intended load, velocities and territory conditions the vehicle is designated for, among other things. The design of a special suspension system for a specific vehicle addresses the following main issues: (a) Components of the suspension system: Will it include a regular or progressive coil spring? Will it include a shock absorber, and if so, what kind (oil, gas, air)? (b) Power rating of the coil spring and shock absorber. The power rating of a coil spring refers mainly to the spring constant, which is measured in N/mm. The power rating of a shock absorber is measured in units of Kgf (kilogram-force), (c) Geometric dimensions of the components: The diameter of the coil spring and its length in its decompressed state. The length of the shock absorber in its decompressed state (in other words, the distance between the two points at which it is attached to the vehicle's chassis and axle), (d) Parts designed to attach the shock absorber to holes in the chassis and axle, and the coil spring's brackets and their attachment to the chassis and axle. Professionals in the said field are, in general, familiar with all of the above, and thus no detailed explanations are necessary.

In many cases the vehicle is intended to travel under tough and unpaved terrain conditions and its driver must adjust the travel velocity to suit the terrain conditions. The tougher the terrain conditions, the lower the travel velocity must be. Replacing the vehicle's standard suspension system with an alternative system can constitute a possible solution to the said problem and can enable the vehicle to travel at a higher velocity under the same terrain conditions while providing the same driving comfort.

The invention, subject of the present application, refers to Land Rover Defender off-road vehicles, series 90, 110 and 130, which are also used by military forces. Thus, and for the sake of fluidity of explanation, the term "vehicle" and/or "vehicles" will refer, in this application, to any off-road vehicle manufactured by Land Rover that is part of the Defender series. The present invention is a suspension method and system for vehicles that is designed to offer a response to the problem of ride comfort when driving under tough terrain conditions.

THE INVENTION

The present invention refers to a vehicle suspension system and method that is adapted to the vehicle with the objective of enabling faster and more comfortable travel under tough terrain conditions. The main objective of the present invention is to provide the vehicle with a front suspension system (1) and a rear suspension system (2) that offer a proper solution to the said problem. Another objective of the present invention is to provide a set of adapters (3) designed to connect the suspension systems (1) (2) to the vehicle. A third objective of the present invention is to provide suspension systems (1) (2) with geometric configurations that enable the suspension systems (1) (2) to be attached to the vehicle's chassis and axles using the set of adapters (3) and the vehicle's original, existing holes.

Drawing No. 1 depicts the vehicle's standard front (left) suspension system (100) prior to adaptation. The suspension system is connected to the vehicle's chassis (4) and axle (5). The standard front suspension system (100) comprises a coil spring (101) and a shock absorber (102). The coil spring (101) is positioned between the lower bracket (103), which is attached to the axel (5),

and the upper bracket (104), which is attached to the chassis (4). The bottom of the shock absorber (102) is attached to the axle (5) and the top is attached to the chassis (4) The shock absorber (102) is attached to the axle (5) by means of a bottom pin (1021), which protrudes from the end of the shock absorber, is inserted into a hole (1031) in the middle of the lower bracket (103), and is screwed securely into place. The shock absorber (102) is attached to the chassis (4) using an upper pin (1022) that is inserted into a horizontal rod that protrudes from a hole (1041) in the chassis (4) and is screwed securely into place.

Drawings Nos. 2-4 depict the front suspension system (1), subject of the invention, and the relevant adaptors (3). Drawing No. 2 depicts the front suspension system (1) whereby it is assembled on the vehicle. The front suspension system (1) comprises a coil spring (11) and a shock absorber (13). The coil spring (11) is positioned between the vehicle's original lower (103) and upper brackets (104). The inventor has added two innovative and unique adapters that are used to attach the pneumatic spring (13) to the vehicle: A bottom, front adapter (31) and an upper, front adapter (32).

The bottom adapter (31) is depicted separately in Drawing No. 4. The adapter (31) comprises a bottom shaft (311) that protrudes downward and is designed to be inserted into the original hole (1031) in the lower bracket (103). The adapter (31) comprises two vertical, parallel arms (312) through which a horizontal screw or rod passes and to which the bottom of the shock absorber (13) is attached.

The upper adapter (32) is depicted separately in Drawing No. 3. The upper adapter (32) is shaped like a tower. The upper adapter (32) comprises a round base (321) to which two parallel plates (322) (323) are attached vertically. The two plates are slightly convex and each has a horizontal hole (324) at the top. The two plates (322) (323) are attached at the top by a horizontal screw (325) that is inserted through the holes (324) thus joining the two said plates. The upper adapter (32) is attached to the chassis (4) by means of the base (321), which has four holes (3211) and which attaches to the upper bracket (104) by means of the four existing holes (1042) on the upper bracket (104). The upper part of the shock absorber (13) is connected to the upper adapter (32) by means of a screw (325), as depicted in Drawing No. 2. The adapters (31) (32), which are used to attach the components of the suspension (1) to the vehicle's chassis (4) and axle (5), are designed so as to enable the system (1) to be attached using the vehicle's existing holes. The purpose of raising the upper adapter (32) is to enable the shock absorber (13) to be attached despite it being relatively long.

When the invention is implemented on a Land Rover off-road vehicle of the Defender 90, 110 or 130 series, it is recommended and desirable that the coil spring (11) have the following (approximate) characteristics: Length in decompressed state - 400 mm.; coil diameter - 16 mm.; spring force constant - 38 Nm. And the shock absorber (13) should have the following characteristics: Length in decompressed state - 617 mm.; damping force 360R/80C. The inventor's proven experience shows that the front suspension system (1), subject of the invention, offers a good solution to the above-described problem.

Changes in the front suspension - In general, the invention entails the following main actions: (a) Removal of the vehicle's original upper adapter and its replacement by the upper adapter (32), so that it is connected directly to the four original holes in the vehicle's original upper base, (b) The lower (fork) adapter (31) is assembled onto the vehicle's original lower base, (c) The original spring coil is replaced by the spring coil (11). (d) The original absorber is replaced by the shock absorber (13).

Drawing No. 5 depicts the vehicle's standard rear (left) suspension system (200) prior to adaptation. The suspension system is connected to the vehicle's chassis (4) and axle (5). The standard rear suspension system (200) comprises a coil spring (201) and a shock absorber (202). The coil spring (201) is positioned between the lower bracket (203), which is attached to the axel (5), and the upper bracket (204), which is attached to the chassis (4). The bottom of the shock absorber (202) is attached to the axle (5) and the top is attached to the chassis (4) The shock absorber (202) is attached to the axle (5) by means of a bottom pin (2021) [not shown in drawings], which protrudes from the bottom of the shock absorber (202), is inserted into a hole (2031) in the lower bracket (203), and is screwed closed. The shock absorber (202) is attached to the chassis (4) by means of a top pin (2022) that is inserted into a horizontal shaft, which protrudes from a hole (2041) in the chassis (4), and is screwed closed. The lower bracket (203) has two additional holes, one on the bottom (2032) and one on the side (2033).

The rear suspension system (2), subject of the invention, is depicted in Drawing No. 6, and it comprises a coil spring (21) and a shock absorber (23). The coil spring (21) is positioned between the vehicle's original lower (203) and upper brackets (204). In order to prevent the coil spring (21) from slipping out of its place between the upper base (204) and the lower base (203), the inventor added a conic guide (39), depicted in Drawing No. 7. To clarify: The upgrading of the vehicle's front suspension system includes increasing the amplitude of movement between the wheels and the vehicle, which is obtained by increasing the length of the shock absorber (23). As a result, situations are possible in which the distance between the upper base (204) (i.e. the vehicle's chassis) and the bottom base (203) (i.e. the vehicle's axle) may enable the coil spring (21) to slip. Thus the objective of the conic guide is to prevent the spring from slipping out. The conic guide (39) is attached directly to the upper base (204), by attaching the conic guide (39) to the bottom of the upper base (204) and using a screw to attach the conic guide (39) to a piece of metal (391) located on the top of the upper base (204), as depicted in Drawing No. 7.

The shock absorber (23) is attached to the vehicle by means of two innovative and unique sets of adapters: A bottom, rear adapter (34) and an upper, rear adapter (35).

The upper adaptor (35) is depicted separately in Drawings Nos. 8 and 9. The adapter (35) comprises two parts: A main part (351) and a support part (352). The main part (351) of the upper adapter (35) is shaped like a plate and has two horizontal arms protruding from it: A horizontal arm (355) and a parallel

horizontal arm (354). Between these two arms is a horizontal screw (359). The main part (351) also has three horizontal, pipe-like holes (355). The support part (352) of the adapter (35) is shaped like a flat plate and has three corresponding, horizontal holes (356).

The adapter (35) is attached to the chassis (4) as follows: The side of the chassis member (4) has three horizontal holes (357) in the area above the suspension system (2) [not shown in the drawings]. The main part (351) is attached to the side of the chassis (4) in such a way that one set of holes (355) is positioned over the other set of holes (357). The support part (352) is attached to the opposite side of the chassis member (4) in such a way that its holes (356) are opposite the chassis holes (357) [and as a result they are also opposite the other holes (355)]. The two parts of the upper adapter (35) are attached to the chassis (4) using three screws. The upper adapter (35) is attached to the chassis (4) using the same original holes that were used to attach the vehicle's original upper adapter, which is being removed and replaced by the upper adapter (35).

The top of the shock absorber (23) is attached to the upper adapter (35) by attaching the horizontal hole at the end of the upper shaft of the pneumatic spring (23) to the horizontal screw (359).

The bottom adaptor (34) is depicted separately in Drawing No. 10. The bottom adapter (34) is similar to the front suspension's bottom adapter (31). The adapter (34) is attached to the axle (5) by inserting and locking the pin (341) into the original hole (2031). The bottom part of the pneumatic spring (23) attaches to the horizontal screw of the bottom adapter (34).

The adaptors (34) (35), which are used to attach the components of the suspension (2) to the vehicle's chassis (4) and axle (5), are designed so as to enable the system (2) to be attached using existing holes in the vehicle's chassis and axle.

Drawing No. 11 depicts the limiting belt (36). The limiting belt (36) is made of a material such as polyester and its function is to limit the axle's distance from the chassis. Both ends of the belt (36) are equipped with a metal piece with a hole. The top end of the limiting belt (36) is attached to the upper adapter (35) and the bottom end is attached to the axle.

When the invention is implemented on a Land Rover off-road vehicle of the Defender 90, 110 or 130 series, it is recommended and desirable that the coil spring (21) have the following characteristics: Decompressed length - 450 mm..; coil diameter - 21 mm.; spring force - 68/100 NM or 75/115 NM. The shock absorber (23) will have the following characteristics: Length in decompressed state - 895 mm.; damping force 360R/80C. The inventor's proven experience shows that the front suspension system (2), subject of the invention, offers a good solution to the above-described problem.

L2010/000599

Changes in the rear suspension - In general, the invention entails the following main stages: (a) Removal of the vehicle's original upper adapter and its replacement by the upper adapter (35), connecting it directly to the three original holes in the chassis, (b) The lower (fork) adapter (34) is assembled on the vehicle's original lower base, (c) The original spring coil is replaced by the spring coil (11). (d) The original absorber is replaced by the shock absorber (23).

Another possible implementation of the invention is depicted in Drawings Nos. 12 and 13 whereby the upper adapter (35') is equipped with two pairs of horizontal ribs (353') (354') and (353") (354") so that it is possible to assemble both a shock absorber and a pneumatic spring on the rear suspension (I 1 ).

While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that this invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements. DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Drawing No. 1 depicts the original front suspension (100). Drawing No. 2 depicts the front suspension (1).

Drawing No. 3 depicts the upper adapter (32).

Drawing No. 4 depicts the lower adapter (31).

Drawing No. 5 depicts the original rear suspension (200). Drawing No. 6 depicts the rear suspension (2).

Drawing No. 7 depicts the conic guide (39).

Drawings Nos. 8 and 9 depicts the upper adapter (35). Drawing No. 10 depicts the lower adapter (34).

Drawing No. 11 depicts the limiting belt (36).

Drawing No. 12 depicts the front suspension (Y).

Drawing No. 13 depicts the upper adapter (35').