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Title:
VEHICLE SUNROOF LIFT SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/189699
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
The present invention provides a lift system for a vehicle sunroof which comprises a guiderail insert having an incline with a first path and a second path that form a track, an optional first bearing disposed in the first path that rolls along one side of the track. Additionally, the lift system may further include an optional second bearing disposed in the second path that rolls along another side of the track in a way such that the first bearing does not contact an upper surface of the first path and such that the second bearing does not contact a lower surface of the second path.

More Like This:
WO/2018/016253SUNROOF DEVICE
Inventors:
TOLINSKI ROTH J (US)
CARSON DOUGLAS C (US)
ALLARD JAMES E (US)
Application Number:
IB2015/001405
Publication Date:
December 17, 2015
Filing Date:
June 08, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
JIANXIN ZHAOS GROUP CORP (CN)
International Classes:
B60J7/05; B60J7/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHEN & PARTNERS (Building DHuoshen Temple International Commercial,Center, Huang cun Town, Daxing District, Beijing 0, CN)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What Is Claimed Is:

1. A lift system for a vehicle sunroof, comprising:

a guiderail insert having an incline with a first path and a second path, wherein the first path and the second path define a track;

a first bearing disposed in the first path adjacent to the track, wherein a first gap separates the first bearing and an upper surface of the first path;

a second bearing disposed in the second path adjacent to the track, wherein a second gap separates the second bearing and a lower surface of the second path;

a carrier piece coupled to the first and second bearings; and

a lift rotatably coupled to the carrier piece and securable to a sheet of glass;

wherein the first and second bearings roll along the track of the incline of the guiderail insert, moving the carrier piece and the lift secured to the sheet of glass horizontally and vertically.

2. The lift system of claim 1, further comprising a slider that is coupled to the lift and moves fore/aft with respect to the guiderail insert, the slider being coupled to the lift in a way that permits the lift to move up and down with respect to the slider, but causes the slider and the lift to move fore/aft together, wherein moving the slider fore/aft causes the lift to follow the track by way of the carrier piece and the first and second bearings.

3. The lift system of claim 2, wherein the slider is coupled to the lift by way of a dovetail protrusion on either the lift or the slider.

4. The lift system of claim 2, further comprising:

a cable coupled to the slider for driving the slider fore/aft, wherein at least a portion of the cable is positioned within a conduit of an extrusion adjacent to the slider; and

a first protrusion and a second protrusion of the slider positioned in and translatable within a channel of the extrusion.

5. The lift system of claim 1, wherein the carrier piece comprises first, second, and third protrusions, the first and second protrusions facing the guiderail insert and coupled, respectively, to the first and second bearings disposed along the track, the third protrusion facing away from the guiderail insert and being positioned within an aperture of the lift.

6. A lift system for a vehicle sunroof, comprising: a guiderail insert having a track;

a first bearing disposed above the track;

a second bearing disposed below the track; and

a lift coupled to the first and second bearings, the lift being securable to a sheet of glass; wherein the first and second bearings roll along the track moving the lift horizontally and vertically.

7. The lift system of claim 6, further comprising a carrier piece coupling the first and second bearings to the lift.

8. The lift system of claim 7, wherein the track comprises at least one curve, and the carrier piece rotates as the first and second bearings enter and exit the at least one curve in the track.

9. The lift system of claim 6, wherein the guiderail insert includes an incline with a first path and a second path, the first path and the second path define the track, a first gap separates the first bearing and an upper surface of the first path, and a second gap separates the second bearing and a lower surface of the second path.

10. The lift system of claim 9, further comprising a carrier piece coupling the first and second bearings to the lift.

11. The lift system of claim 10, wherein the carrier piece comprises first, second, and third protrusions, the first and second protrusions face the guiderail insert and are coupled, respectively, to the first and second bearings disposed along the track, and the third protrusion faces away from the guiderail insert and is positioned within an aperture of the lift.

12. The lift system of claim 6, further comprising a slider that is coupled to the lift and moves fore/aft with respect to the guiderail insert, the slider being coupled to the lift in a way that permits the lift to move up and down with respect to the slider, but causes the slider and the lift to move fore/aft together.

13. The lift system of claim 12, further comprising a cable coupled to the slider for driving the slider fore/aft, wherein at least a portion of the cable is positioned within a conduit of an extrusion adjacent to the slider.

14. The lift system of claim 12, further comprising a first protrusion and a second protrusion of the slider positioned in and translatable within a channel of an extrusion adjacent to the slider.

15. A lift system for a vehicle sunroof, comprising:

a track formed by a first path and a second path extruded from a guiderail insert, the track being at least partially inclined, the first path being positioned above the second path; a pair of bearings straddling the track, the pair of bearings configured to roll along the track without contacting an upper surface of the first path or a lower surface of the second path, the pair of bearings capable of moving at least between a first position and a second position along the track, wherein the second position is higher than and aft of the first position; and

a lift coupled to the pair of bearings straddling the track, the lift capable of being secured directly or indirectly to a piece of glass that selectively covers the vehicle sunroof, wherein moving the pair of bearings upwards and rearwards from the first position to the second position causes the lift to follow the track from the first position to the second position, moving the lift upwards and rearwards.

16. The lift system of claim 15, further comprising a carrier piece that couples the pair of bearings to the lift, the carrier piece being rotatably coupled to the lift.

17. The lift system of claim 16, wherein the carrier piece comprises first, second, and third protrusions, the first and second protrusions facing the guiderail insert and coupled, respectively, to the pair of bearings straddling the track, the third protrusion facing away from the guiderail insert and being positioned within an aperture of the lift.

18. The lift system of claim 15, further comprising a slider that is coupled to the lift, wherein the slider is configured only to move fore/aft, wherein the slider is coupled to the lift such that the slider and the lift move fore/aft together, but so that the lift may move up and down.

19. The lift system of claim 18, wherein the slider is coupled to the lift in a way such that the slider prevents the lift from rotating as the pair of bearings roll along the track.

20. The lift system of claim 18, further comprising: a cable coupled to the slider for driving the slider fore/aft, wherein at least a portion of the cable is positioned within a conduit of an extrusion adjacent to the slider; and

a first protrusion and a second protrusion of the slider positioned in and translatable within a channel of the extrusion.

Description:
VEHICLE SUNROOF LIFT SYSTEMS

Cross- Reference to Related Application

[01] This application claims priority to US application number 62/009,708, filed on June 9, 2014, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entireties.

Field of the Invention

[02] The present Invention generally relates to vehicle sunroofs and, more particularly, to lift systems for vehicle sunroofs.

Background of the Invention

[03] It is known that an increasing percentage of vehicles have sunroofs nowadays.

Passengers of a vehicle can open a sunroof to allow light and fresh air into the passenger compartment, or "interior," of the vehicle. Most existing sunroof designs utilize a pair of guiderails positioned along the sides of a sunroof, extending generally from a leading edge to a trailing edge of the sunroof. A sheet of glass is coupled directly or indirectly to pegs that are inserted into the guiderails. When the sunroof is opened, a motor either pushes or pulls a cable that is secured to a component secured to the pegs and sheet of glass. The sheet of glass begins to move backward as the pegs slide through the guiderail. As the sheet of glass slides backwards, a back edge of the sheet of glass is elevated up and over another portion of the vehicle roof. In many cases a front edge of the sheet of glass is likewise elevated as the glass slides backwards and the sunroof is opened. Typically the guiderails have ramped portions along which the pegs slide to elevate the sheet of glass as it travels backwards.

[04] The problem with this design, however, is that an inordinate amount of friction is present between the pegs and the guiderails. Manufacturers of vehicles are forced to over- lubricate these guiderails. Such a solution is not permanent, as lubricant applied in the guiderails is eventually misplaced and worn thin. Moreover, excessive lubricant can drip into the interior of the vehicle resulting in stains to the vehicle and/or its passengers' garments and belongings. The inordinate amount of friction also forces vehicle manufacturers to install more powerful motors that can sufficiently drive the pegs through the guiderails to overcome the friction, which is even more evident when the pegs are sliding upwards along the ramped portions of the guiderails. Such powerful motors are more expensive, heavier, and more sizeable than the alternative.

[05] Therefore, a need exists for a vehicle sunroof lift system that significantly reduces the amount of friction present in the guiderails that extend along the sides of a vehicle sunroof.

Summary of the Invention

[06] The present invention in general provides a lift system for vehicle sunroofs. In one example, a lift system may include a guiderail insert having an incline with first and second paths that form a track, where the first path may be said to be above the second path. The track may include at least one curve in some cases. A first bearing may be disposed in the first path configured to roll along an upper surface of the track, while a second bearing may be disposed in the second path configured to roll along a lower surface of the track. The bearings may be said to "straddle" the track. The first bearing and the first path may be sized such that the first bearing does not contact an upper surface of the first path. Likewise, the second bearing and the second path may be sized such that the second bearing does not contact a lower surface of the second path.

[07] The lift system may also include a lift that can be secured directly or indirectly to a piece of glass that selectively covers a vehicle sunroof. The lift may also be coupled to the bearings, either directly or indirectly. In one example, the lift may be coupled to the first and second bearings by way of a carrier piece. The carrier piece may have first and second protrusions that face the guiderail insert and are coupled to the bearings. The carrier piece may also have a third protrusion that faces away from the guiderail and is received by an aperture of the lift. Thus, the carrier piece may be rotatably coupled to the lift. As the carrier piece moves along the track, the carrier piece causes the lift to follow the track and move horizontally and vertically.

[08] A slider that is capable of moving fore/aft with respect to the guiderail insert may be coupled to the lift. The slider may have protrusions that are positioned and translate within a channel of an extrusion adjacent to the slider. The protrusions and the channel of the extrusion may prevent the slider from moving up and down. Further, the slider may be coupled to the lift in a way that causes the lift and the slider to move fore/aft together, but permits the lift to move up and down with respect to the slider. One example way in which to achieve this coupling is to use a dovetail protrusion on either the lift or the slider. The coupling between the slider and the lift may also prevent the lift from rotating. The slider may also be coupled to a cable that drives the slider fore/aft. At least a portion of the cable may be positioned within a conduit of the extrusion adjacent to the slider. The cable may be driven by a motor.

[09] Hence to move a piece of glass covering a sunroof rearwards and backwards, the motor may cause the cable to move aft, towards a back of a vehicle. The cable causes the slider to translate aft, which in turn causes the lift to begin to move aft. The slider causes the carrier piece coupled to the bearings to move aft as well. In this example, the bearings may be said to move from a "first position" to a "second position," where the second position is higher than and aft of the first position. Because the bearings roll along the track when moving from the first position to the second position, the lift will move according to the track. When the bearings enter or exit a curve, the bearings may cause the first and second protrusions of the carrier piece— and thus the carrier piece— to rotate. This rotation is not experienced by the lift, though, because the lift may be rotatably coupled to the carrier piece. As a result, the lift and any piece of glass secured to the lift follow the track to move rearwards and backwards.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[010] Figure 1 is a partial perspective view of an example vehicle sunroof lift system.

[Oil] Figure 2A is a perspective view of an example guiderail insert having an example incline.

[012] Figure 2B is a perspective view of the example guiderail insert of Figure 2A with an example pair of bearings disposed in the example incline.

[013] Figure 2C is a perspective view of the example guiderail insert of Figures 2A - 2B with an example carrier piece secured to the pair of bearings.

[014] Figure 2D is a perspective view of the example guiderail insert of Figures 2A - 2C with a lift rotatably coupled to the example carrier piece. [015] Figure 2E is a perspective view of the example guiderail insert of Figures 2A - 2D with an example slider disposed against the example carrier piece.

[016] Figure 2F is a perspective view of the example guiderail insert of Figures 2A - 2E with an example cable secured to the example slider.

[017] Figure 3 is a side view of a pair of bearings positioned along an example incline of a guiderail insert.

[018] Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view taken across line A— A in Figure 2B of an example guiderail insert showing various positions in which the pair of bearings may be located as a sunroof utilizing the vehicle sunroof lift system is moved.

Detailed Description of the Invention

[019] The following disclosure of example vehicle sunroof lift systems is not intended to limit the scope of the present invention to the precise form or forms detailed herein. Instead, the following disclosure is intended to be illustrative so that others may follow its teachings.

[020] An example lift system for a vehicle sunroof may include, amongst other components, a guiderail insert with an incline. In one example, the incline may comprise two paths forming a track along which bearings or roller bushings may be disposed. In some instances, the bearings may be rotatably coupled to a pair of protrusions on a carrier piece. The carrier piece may pivot about another protrusion disposed on an opposite side of the carrier piece. The protrusion about which the carrier piece pivots may be spaced along a length of the carrier piece equidistant from each of the pair of protrusions that are coupled to the bearings. By allowing the carrier piece to pivot, the bearings maintain a true normal distance about the track, thereby eliminating or at least reducing bind between the bearings and the track.

[021] The example lift system may further include a lift, a slider, an extrusion, and a cable. The lift may be secured, directly or indirectly, to the bearings disposed in the paths along the track of the incline. The lift may also be secured to a sheet of glass that selectively covers the sunroof. As the lift moves horizontally, a shape and slope of the incline may cause the lift to move vertically. The lift may in some examples be engaged with the slider. In particular, the lift and the slider may be engaged such that the lift can move vertically with respect to the slider, but so that the lift and the slider move forwards and backwards together. A motor that drives a cable that is secured to the slider may cause the slider and the lift to move forwards and backwards, as the lift's coupling to the incline causes the lift to move upwards and downwards. The cable and the slider may be coupled to the extrusion. For example, the cable may be disposed within a conduit of the extrusion so that it only moves forwards and backwards along a length of the extrusion. The slider may have one or more protrusions that are disposed within a channel of the extrusion so that the slider likewise moves forwards and backwards along the length of the extrusion.

[022] Thus, as the sunroof is opened, the motor drives the cable backwards along the length of the extrusion, which causes the slider to move backwards along the extrusion as well. The slider engages the lift and causes the lift to move backwards too. Yet the lift is coupled to the bearings that roll along the track of the incline. Because the track of the incline is sloped, the bearings move upwards and force the lift upwards. The lift in turn forces the sheet of glass covering the sunroof upwards and backwards.

[023] With reference now to Figure 1, an example lift system 100 is shown. In some instances, the example lift system 100 may be utilized in connection with a vehicle sunroof (not shown). The example lift system 100 may include, for example and without limitation, one or more of a guiderail insert 102, a lift 104, a slider 106, an extrusion 108, and a cable 110. Thus, as those having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate, the lift system 100 is not necessarily deemed to include all of these components. Likewise, the lift system 100 may in some examples include additional components beyond those identified in Figure 1, as disclosed below. Further to that end, a number of components are shown in Figure 1 that are not necessarily part of the example lift system 100. Those components include without limitation a lift mechanism 112 and a support arm 114, which may be parts of a sunroof wind deflector (not shown) or an opening defining the sunroof (not shown).

[024] Nonetheless, the cable 110 shown in the example lift system 100 of Figure 1 may be connected to a motor (not shown). The motor may selectively drive the cable 110 to open and close the sunroof. In some examples, the cable 110 may be secured within a conduit 118 of the extrusion 108. The conduit 118 may in some cases be "C-shaped" and sized such that the cable 110 cannot bend within the conduit 118. The conduit 118 may generally run along a length of the extrusion 108 in some examples. It should be understood that the present invention contemplates a wide variety of materials that may be utilized for each of the components disclosed with respect to the example lift system 100. In one example, the extrusion 108 may be formed of aluminum.

[025] Further, the cable 110 may also be secured to the slider 106 in some examples, which may limit any rotation of the cable 110 within the conduit 118. Thus the cable 110 is essentially limited to translating forwards and backwards within the conduit 118. The present invention contemplates a variety of ways in which a motor could be used to effectively drive the slider 106 fore/aft. For example, the cable 110 may in some examples be replaced with a more-rigid linkage, which would eliminate the need for the conduit 118 in the extrusion 108.

[026] With continued reference to the example lift system 100 in Figure 1, however, the motor may drive the cable 110, which in turn drives the slider 106 either forwards or backwards with the cable 110. The example slider 106 may include at least one protrusion (not shown) that is received by a channel 120 in the extrusion 108. Similar to the conduit 118, the channel 120 may in some instances run along the length of the extrusion 108. In some examples, the at least one protrusion may include a bearing or other member that allows the at least one protrusion to roll, slide, or otherwise translate within the channel 120 of the extrusion 108. Thus in the example shown in Figure 1, the slider 106 may translate along the length of the extrusion 108 but will generally not move up or down with respect to the extrusion 108.

[027] Still referring to the example lift system 100 of Figure 1, the example slider 106 may be coupled to, or at least engaged with, the lift 104 so that the lift 104 can move vertically with respect to the slider 106, but so that translational movement of the slider 106 causes the lift 104 to move forwards and backwards with the slider 106. One example way in which to achieve this movement is by way of a recess 122 in the slider 106 that receives a lip 124 of the lift 104. In some examples, the lip 124 may fit neatly within the recess 122 due to the lip 124 and the recess 122 having similar contours. Those having ordinary skill in the art will recognize that the lip 124 and the recess 122 may have a variety of different shapes. For instance, in one example the lip 124 may have a "dovetail" design where the contour of the recess 122, viewed from above, is shaped as if to receive a trapezoidal-shaped object. It should be understood that a dovetail design may be advantageous in some cases because the shape of the recess 122 and the lip 124 prevent the slider 106 and the lift 104 from pulling away from one another, even though other components of the example lift system 100 also prevent such movement.

Therefore, the lip 124 and recess 122 engage one another and travel together as the slider 106 is driven fore/aft. However, the lip 124 of the lift 104 remains free to move up and down within the recess 122 of the slider 106, even when the slider 106 and lift 104 are moving fore/aft together.

[028] Still further, the example lift 104 of Figure 1 may include one or more points of attachment 126, such as apertures, for example, to which a sheet of glass (not shown) is secured either directly or indirectly. More, the example lift 104 of the example lift system 100 may move forward and backwards with respect to the example guiderail insert 102, which remains stationary in this example. As explained below, the example guiderail insert 102 may have a structure (not shown in Figure 1) that causes the lift 104 to move up and down as the lift 104 moves backwards and forwards with respect to the guiderail insert 102. This in turn will cause the piece of glass secured to the lift 104 to move up and down as well. It should be understood that in the example shown in Figure 1, the guiderail insert 102 and the extrusion 108 are positioned so as to constrain the slider 106, the lift 104, and any other moving parts from being displaced laterally, towards either the guiderail insert 102 or the extrusion 108.

[029] Figures 2A - 2F show a buildup of example components that may be used with the example lift system 100 of Figure 1, though they cannot be viewed from the perspective in Figure 1. More particularly, Figure 2A shows an incline 200 in the example guiderail insert 102. In one example, the incline 200 may be extruded on a side 202 of the guiderail insert 102 that faces an outside of a vehicle. Forming the incline 200 on the side 202 of the guiderail insert 102 that faces the outside of the vehicle "hides" most of the components from the view and reach of passengers of the vehicle. Further, the incline 200 may in some examples comprise at least one path 204 formed by extruding material from the guiderail insert 102. Including two paths 204 in the incline 200, as opposed to one, may provide stability to the lift system 100. Nevertheless, the example paths 204 shown in Figure 2A have the same contour and may be positioned above one another.

[030] Figure 2B shows the same example guiderail insert 102 of Figure 2A, but with a first bearing 206 and a second bearing 208 disposed in the paths 204 of the incline 200. In some examples, the first and second bearings 206, 208 roll in the paths 204 of the incline 200 between a first position 210, a second position 212, and a third position 214 before

transitioning into one or more paths present in another extruded member (not shown).

Moreover, the first and second bearings 206, 208 may in some cases be roller bushings or other components that are capable of rolling in the paths 204, as described with respect to Figure 3.

[031] Figure 2C shows an example carrier piece 216 coupled to the bearings 206, 208 shown in Figure 2B. The example carrier piece 216 of Figure 2C may include a base portion 218 and three protrusions, two of which (not shown) may be rotatably coupled to the bearings 206, 208 and a third protrusion 220 that extends away from the example guiderail insert 102. As the bearings 206, 208 move through the paths 204, so does the carrier piece 216. The base portion 218 of the carrier piece 216 may in some examples sit flush with and ride along the side 202 of the guiderail insert 102 that faces the outside of the vehicle as the bushings move throughout the paths 204.

[032] In addition, it should be understood that the bearings 206, 208 do not necessarily stay directly above one another as the bearings 206, 208 move through the paths 204 of the incline 200. For instance, the second bearing 208 may temporarily roll slightly further horizontally along one of the paths 204 before the first bearing 206 "catches up" and rolls that same amount so that the bearings 206, 208 are above one another. As a result, the carrier piece 216 may rotate slowly, at least to some degree, as the bearings 206, 208 make their way through the paths 204. The present invention contemplates that the base 218 of the carrier piece 216 may be sized accordingly to account for such rotation so that lower and upper portions of the base 218 of the carrier piece 216 remain in contact with the side 202 of the guiderail insert 102 as the bearings 206, 208 traverse the paths 204.

[033] Figure 2D shows how an aperture 222 of the example lift 104 may be rotatably coupled to the third protrusion 220 of the carrier piece 216 in one example. Because in this example the lift 104 is rotatably coupled to the carrier piece 216 as opposed to being fixedly coupled to the carrier piece 216, any rotation experienced by the carrier piece 216 is not transferred to the lift 104. Moreover, because the third protrusion 220 can rotate within the aperture 222, the third protrusion 220 may in some examples act as a pivot for the carrier piece 216. Providing a pivot for the carrier piece 216 helps prevent and/or relieve bind in the bearings 206, 208 by causing the bearings 206, 208 to maintain a true normal distance with respect to a track, as disclosed below with reference to Figure 3. From the partial buildup in Figure 2D, one having ordinary skill in the will appreciate how moving the bearings 206, 208 through the paths 204 of the incline 200 causes the carrier piece 216 to move backwards and upwards, which in turn causes the lift 104 to likewise move backwards and upwards.

[034] Figure 2E shows how in some examples the lift 104 engages with the example slider 106. As disclosed above, the recess 122 of the slider 106 receives the lip 124 of the lift 104 in one example such that the lift 104 and the slider 106 travel together fore/aft, but the lift 104 can move up and down within the recess 122 of the slider 106. Yet further, the example slider 106 includes a first protrusion 224 and a second protrusion 226 that may be disposed in the channel 120 of the extrusion 108 in Figure 1. The two protrusions 224, 226 of the slider 106 allow the slider 106 to translate along the extrusion 108, but prevent the slider 106 and the lift 104 from rotating. Those having ordinary skill in the art will realize that the present invention

contemplates that a variety of modifications to this design are possible without departing from the scope and spirit of the example vehicle sunroof lift systems. For instance, a single square protrusion extending from the slider 106 into the channel 120 of the extrusion 108 may likewise allow the slider 106 to translate along the extrusion 108 and prevent the slider 106 and the lift 104 from rotating.

[035] Figure 2F shows how the cable 110 may be secured to the slider 106 in some examples. The cable 110, as disclosed above, transfers the forces generated by the motor to move the slider 106 and hence the lift 104 forward and backward. As the lift 104 is forced backwards, so too is the carrier piece 216. Because the carrier piece 216 may be rotatably coupled to the bearings 206, 208 that move through the paths 204 of the incline 200, the carrier piece 216 is forced upwards due to the bearings 206, 208. This upward force is transferred through the protrusion 220 of the carrier piece 216 to the aperture 222 of the lift 104, which results in an upwards and backwards movement of the lift 104 and any sheet of glass to which the lift 104 is secured.

[036] Now referring to Figure 3, a side view of the incline 200 of the example guiderail insert 102 is shown. Also shown are the bearings 206, 208 disposed in the paths 204 along a track 260 of the incline 200. In some instances, the track 260 of the example incline 200 may include an upper surface 262 along which the first bearing 206 rolls, as well as a lower surface 264 along which the second bearing 208 rolls. Figure 3 also shows a footprint 266 of a carrier piece, such as the example carrier pieces 216 shown in Figures 2C - 2F. In one example, the spacing of protrusions of the carrier piece that extend into the paths 204 keep the second bearing 208 against the upper surface 262 of the track 260. Moreover, in some examples, a gap 268 separates the first bearing 206 and an upper surface 270 of the upper path 204. Likewise, in some examples, a gap 272 separates the second bearing 208 and a lower surface 274 of the lower path 204. By including the gaps 268, 272, the bearings 206, 208 roll along the track 260 unlike typical vehicle sunroof lift systems that involve sliding.

[037] With reference now to Figure 4, a portion of the example lift system 100 is shown based on a cross section taken across line A— A in Figure 2B. More specifically, the guiderail insert 102 and the first and second bearings 206, 208 of the example lift system 100 are shown. I n addition, Figure 4 depicts an example guiderail 300 having paths 302 in which the bearings 206, 208 may roll along a track 303. I n some examples, the guiderail 300 may be fixed to the guiderail insert 102 so as to align the paths 302 and the track 303 of the guiderail 300 with, respectively, the one or more paths 204 and the track 260 of the guiderail insert 102. I n fact, in some instances the guiderail 300 may be formed by modifying an extruded piece of metal (e.g., aluminum) to receive and/or secure to the guiderail insert 102. Furthermore, Figure 4 superimposes additional pairs of bearings, including a third bearing 304, a fourth bearing 306, a fifth bearing 308, and a sixth bearing 310, on the guiderail insert 102 and the guiderail 300 to illustrate how the first and second bearings 206, 208 roll along the track 260 of the example incline 200 and onto the track 303 of the guiderail 300. [038] Figure 4 also superimposes a first sheet of glass 312, a second sheet of glass 314, and a third sheet of glass 316 above the example lift system 100. In one example, the first sheet of glass 312 may be secured directly or indirectly to a lift, such as the example lifts 104 shown in Figures 1, 2D, 2E, and 2F, which is coupled to the first and second bearings 206, 208 through a carrier piece, such as the example carrier piece 216 shown in Figures 2C, 2D, 2E, and 2F.

Likewise, the second and third sheets of glass 314, 316 shown in Figure 4 may be indirectly coupled to the third and fourth bearings 304, 306 and the fifth and sixth bearings 308, 310, respectively. Although shown in Figure 4 as three sheets of glass 312, 314, 316 and three pairs of bushings 206, 208; 304, 306; 308, 310, one having ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that these elements represent different positions of the lift system 100 as the lift system 100 moves a sheet of glass backwards and upwards to open the sunroof, or forwards and downwards to close the sunroof. Those having ordinary skill in the art will further appreciate that the figures are not drawn to scale. By way of example, the vertical spacing between the superimposed sheets of glass 312, 314, and 316 of Figure 4 may be exaggerated.

[039] Although certain example components and systems have been described herein, the scope of coverage of this patent is not limited thereto. On the contrary, this patent covers all systems, methods, apparatus, and articles of manufacture fairly falling within the scope of the appended claims either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents.