Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
VEHICLE TRANSFER CASE SUPPORT ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/005805
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A support assembly and a method of assembling a device to reduce engine and transmission movement of a vehicle. The support assembly includes a base plate configured to be attached to the transfer case of the vehicle; a tubular extension having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end is attached to the base plate; a first frame bracket attached to the second end of the tubular extension, wherein the frame bracket is further configured to be attached to a cross member of the vehicle; and a bushing contained within the first frame bracket.

Inventors:
CHLEBEK, Christopher (124 Cumberland Ave, North Attleboro, MA, 02760, US)
Application Number:
US2018/039517
Publication Date:
January 03, 2019
Filing Date:
June 26, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
CHLEBEK, Christopher (124 Cumberland Ave, North Attleboro, MA, 02760, US)
International Classes:
F16H57/02; B60K5/00; B60K17/00; F16H57/03
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015197614A12015-12-30
Foreign References:
GB392256A1933-05-18
US2925973A1960-02-23
US20150345613A12015-12-03
US6712655B12004-03-30
US20120096972A12012-04-26
Other References:
CHLEVERCRAFT INDUSTRIES: "AS SEEN ON Performance TV", YOUTUBE, 18 June 2018 (2018-06-18), XP054979206, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20180923]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BLASI, Robert, S. (Danielson Legal, LLCOne Mifflin Pl, Ste 40, Cambridge MA, 02138, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A support assembly for a transfer case of a vehicle, the support assembly comprising: a base plate configured to be attached to the transfer case of the vehicle;

a tubular extension having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end is attached to the base plate;

a first frame bracket attached to the second end of the tubular extension, wherein the frame bracket is further configured to be attached to a cross member of the vehicle; and

a bushing contained within the first frame bracket. 2. The support assembly of claim 1 further comprising at least one bump stop configured to be fastened to a motor mount frame bracket of a motor mount of the vehicle.

3. The support assembly of claim 1 wherein the frame bracket comprises a top plate and two side plates.

4. The support assembly of claim 1 wherein the support assembly is configured to be attached to a Jeep Wrangler.

5. The support assembly of claim 1 wherein the first end of the tubular extension is welded to the base plate.

6. The support assembly of claim 1 further comprising at least one shim configured to be positioned between the cross member of the vehicle and the first frame bracket. 7. The support assembly of claim 1 wherein the first frame bracket is configured to be attached to the cross member of the vehicle via at least one bolt and at least one lock nut.

8. The support assembly of claim 7 wherein the first frame bracket further comprises at least one hole sized to allow the at least one bolt to attach the first frame bracket to the cross member of the vehicle.

9. A method of assembling a device to reduce engine and transmission movement of a vehicle, the method comprising:

connecting a first end of a tubular extension to a base plate;

connecting a tubular end piece to a second end of the tubular extension;

attaching a bushing to the tubular end piece; and

attaching the tubular end piece to a first frame bracket.

10. The method of claim 9 further comprising attaching the base plate to a transfer case of the vehicle.

11. The method of claim 10 further comprising attaching the first frame bracket to a cross member of the vehicle. 12. The method of claim 11 further comprising drilling at least one hole through the cross member of the vehicle.

13. The method of claim 9 further comprising attaching at least one spacer plate to the first frame bracket.

14. The method of claim 9 further comprising attaching the device to a Jeep Wrangler. 15. The method of claim 9 wherein the transmission is automatic.

16. The method of claim 9 further comprising attaching at least one bump stop to a motor mount frame bracket of a motor mount of the vehicle.

17. The method of claim 9 further comprising attaching at least one shim between a cross member of the vehicle and the first frame bracket. 18. The method of claim 9 wherein the transmission is manual.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the first frame bracket comprises at least one hole sized to allow the at least one bolt to attach the first frame bracket to a cross member of the vehicle.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein attaching the device to the vehicle includes attaching the at least one bolt to the cross member of the vehicle through the at least one hole.

Description:
VEHICLE TRANSFER CASE SUPPORT ASSEMBLY

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims benefit of co-pending United States provisional application no. 62/604, 168, filed on June 26, 2017, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference as if set forth in its entirety herein.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] Embodiments described herein generally relate to vehicles and, more particularly but not exclusively, to methods and systems for supporting vehicle transfer cases.

BACKGROUND

[0003] Certain vehicles are known to have excessive engine and/or transmission movement, particularly when traveling over rough terrain, scalloped, or pot-holed roads. These vehicles include two-door and four-door models of Jeep Wranglers JK manufactured between 2007 and 2018. This engine/transmission movement can cause the shifter on a manual shift six speed transmission to rattle, violently shake, and possibly disengage out of gear. [0004] Existing techniques to stabilize engine and transmission movements are difficult to install and, in many cases, are not adjustable to fit multiple vehicles.

[0005] A need exists, therefore, for methods and systems that overcomes the disadvantages of existing techniques.

SUMMARY

[0006] This summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This summary is not meant or intended to identify or exclude key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

[0007] According to one aspect, embodiments relate to a support assembly for a transfer case of a vehicle. The support assembly includes a base plate configured to be attached to the transfer case of the vehicle; a tubular extension having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end is attached to the base plate; a first frame bracket attached to the second end of the tubular extension, wherein the frame bracket is further configured to be attached to a cross member of the vehicle; and a bushing contained within the first frame bracket.

[0008] In some embodiments, the support assembly further includes at least one bump stop configured to be fastened to a motor mount frame bracket of a motor mount of the vehicle. [0009] In some embodiments, the frame bracket of the support assembly comprises a top plate and two side plates.

[0010] In some embodiments, the support assembly is configured to be attached to a Jeep Wrangler.

[0011] In some embodiments, the first end of the tubular extension is welded to the base plate.

[0012] In some embodiments, the support assembly further includes at least one shim configured to be positioned between the cross member of the vehicle and the first frame bracket.

[0013] In some embodiments, the first frame bracket is configured to be attached to the cross member of the vehicle via at least one bolt and at least one lock nut. In some embodiments, the first frame bracket further includes at least one hole sized to allow the at least one bolt to attach the first frame bracket to the cross member of the vehicle.

[0014] According to another aspect, embodiments relate to a method of assembling a device to reduce engine and transmission movement of a vehicle. The method includes connecting a first end of a tubular extension to a base plate; connecting a tubular end piece to a second end of the tubular extension; attaching a bushing to the tubular end piece; and attaching the tubular end piece to a first frame bracket.

[0015] In some embodiments, the method further includes attaching the base plate to a transfer case of the vehicle.

[0016] In some embodiments, the method further includes attaching the first frame bracket to a cross member of the vehicle. In some embodiments, the method further includes drilling at least one hole through the cross member of the vehicle.

[0017] In some embodiments, the method further includes attaching at least one spacer plate to the first frame bracket.

[0018] In some embodiments, the method further includes attaching the device to a Jeep Wrangler.

[0019] In some embodiments, the method further includes applying a rust proof coating to the device.

[0020] In some embodiments, the method further includes attaching at least one bump stop to a motor mount frame bracket of a motor mount of the vehicle.

[0021] In some embodiments, the transmission is automatic.

[0022] In some embodiments, the transmission is manual.

[0023] In some embodiments, the method further includes attaching at least one shim between a cross member of the vehicle and the first frame bracket.

[0024] In some embodiments, the method further includes attaching the device to the vehicle via at least one bolt and at least one lock nut. In some embodiments, the first frame bracket includes at least one hole sized to allow the at least one bolt to attach the first frame bracket to a cross member of the vehicle. In some embodiments, attaching the device to the vehicle includes attaching the at least one bolt to the cross member of the vehicle through at least one hole.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0025] Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments of the invention are described with reference to the following figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various views unless otherwise specified. The accompanying figures are schematic and not intended to be drawn to scale. For purposes of clarity, not every component is labeled in every figure, nor is every component of each embodiment of the invention shown where illustration is not necessary to allow those of ordinary skill in the art to understand the invention. In the figures:

[0026] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bump stop having a pre-drilled hole, a flat washer, and a screw in accordance with one embodiment;

[0027] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a vehicle's left side frame rail section having a motor mount frame bracket and a motor mount in accordance with one embodiment; [0028] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the bump stop of FIG. 1 installed between the left-side motor mount and the motor mount frame bracket of FIG. 2 in accordance with one embodiment;

[0029] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the right-side frame rail section of the vehicle of FIG. 2 having a motor mount frame bracket and a motor mount in accordance with one embodiment;

[0030] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the bump stop of FIG. 1 installed between the right-side motor mount and the motor mount frame bracket of FIG. 4 in accordance with one embodiment;

[0031] FIG. 6 is a rear view from behind a transfer case support assembly in accordance with one embodiment;

[0032] FIG. 7 is a rear view from behind the transfer case support assembly in accordance with another embodiment; [0033] FIG. 8 is a rear view from behind the transfer case of the vehicle and the upper frame cross member of the vehicle without the transfer case support assembly of FIGS. 6 or 7 installed in accordance with one embodiment;

[0034] FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view from the side of the transfer case support assembly of FIGS. 6 and 7 in accordance with one embodiment; [0035] FIG. 10 is a connected perspective view from the side of the transfer case support assembly of FIG. 9 in accordance with one embodiment; [0036] FIG. 11 is a rear view from behind a transfer case support assembly in accordance with one embodiment;

[0037] FIG. 12 is a perspective view from the side of a transfer case support assembly in accordance with one embodiment; [0038] FIG. 13 is a perspective view from above a transfer case support assembly in accordance with one embodiment;

[0039] FIG. 14 is an exploded view of hardware used to attach a transfer case support assembly to the transfer case of a vehicle in accordance with one embodiment;

[0040] FIG. 15 is an exploded perspective view of the components of a transfer case support assembly in accordance with one embodiment;

[0041] FIG. 16 is a perspective view of components of a transfer case support assembly after welding and after rust proof coating has been applied in accordance with one embodiment;

[0042] FIG. 17 is an exploded perspective view of a tubular end, a tubular extension, and a base plate of a transfer case support assembly in accordance with one embodiment; [0043] FIG. 18 is an exploded perspective view of a top plate, side plates, and spacer plates of frame bracket of a transfer case support assembly in accordance with one embodiment;

[0044] FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a frame bracket with mounting hardware bolts, flat washers, and assorted shims used for installing a transfer case support assembly on two-door model vehicles in accordance with one embodiment; and [0045] FIG. 20 is a perspective view of a frame bracket with mounting hardware bolts, flat washers, assorted shims, and lock nuts used for installing a transfer case support assembly on four- door model vehicles in accordance with one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0046] Various embodiments are described more fully below with reference to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and which show specific exemplary embodiments. However, the concepts of the present disclosure may be implemented in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided as part of a thorough and complete disclosure, to fully convey the scope of the concepts, techniques and implementations of the present disclosure to those skilled in the art. Embodiments may be practiced as methods, systems or devices. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense. [0047] Reference in the specification to "one embodiment" or to "an embodiment" means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiments is included in at least one example implementation or technique in accordance with the present disclosure. The appearances of the phrase "in one embodiment" in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. The appearances of the phrase "in some embodiments" in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiments.

[0048] In the context of the present application, the phrase "factory located" may refer to something that is created by the manufacturer at the factory or when fabricating the parts to be assembled at the factory. For example, a hole drilled during the manufacturing process is a factory located hole, as opposed to a hole drilled after the vehicle has been purchased.

[0049] In the context of the present application, the term "chromoly" may refer to a steel alloy containing chromium and molybdenum.

[0050] The present application describes a support assembly that attaches to a vehicle's transfer case and the vehicle's cross frame member, thereby connecting them together. The support assembly in accordance with various embodiments may be installed as a kit to reduce engine and/or transmission movement during travel. For example, the support assembly may secure the vehicle shifter, which attaches to the top of the transmission, in a more stable position and thereby prevent rattling. The support assembly may be used in vehicles with automatic or manual transmissions.

[0051] The transfer case support assembly described herein may increase positive vehicle control when traveling into corners in which the road may be scalloped and/or have pot holes. These road conditions may cause a vehicle (without the support assembly) to lose grip or contact with the road surface, thereby causing the vehicle to slide or skid uncontrollably. [0052] In certain vehicles, the manual transmission gear selector or shifter protrudes from the top of the vehicle's transmission and passes through the vehicle's transmission tunnel and into the driver' s compartment. This may be a direct link and cause the shifter to emphasize any movement of the vehicle's engine, transmission, and/or transfer case. This can result in excessive noise from the rattling and shaking of the shifter and can also cause the shifter to spontaneously disengage out of gear. A similar noise, rattle, and shake of the shifter can be found on automatic transmission models.

[0053] The transfer case support assembly in accordance with the embodiments described herein reduces this excessive noise by reducing the rattling and shaking of the shifter. Additionally, the support assembly may reduce the likelihood that the shifter will spontaneously disengage out of gear. Moreover, the support assembly may give both automatic and manual transmission models a more positive road-feel. Accordingly, once the support assembly is properly installed, a driver and passengers may experience a more pleasurable and safer driving experience.

[0054] The vehicle transfer case support assembly in accordance with various embodiments may include two bump stops and any necessary mounting hardware, discussed below. In some embodiments, the bump stops are positioned and fastened under factory motor mounts and in the space between the motor mount and the motor mount frame bracket. These bump stops may help limit the movement of the engine and transmission of the vehicle under certain driving conditions.

[0055] The transfer case support assembly may comprise a two-piece bushing with a steel insert that is then installed into a tubular end piece. The bushing may then connect to a frame bracket with hardware in order to stabilize the gear selector/shifter.

[0056] In some embodiments, the transfer case support assembly is bolted onto the factory threaded stand-offs located on the back side of the vehicle's transfer case. The washers are essentially used as shims between the transfer case support assembly and the vehicle's transfer case. The number of shims used may be determined by the alignment of the transfer case support assembly and the frame bracket at the through hole locations so that a bolt may pass through without alignment issues. [0057] In some embodiments, the frame bracket is bolted to the vehicle's upper frame cross member, located behind the vehicle's transfer case, using bolts, shims, and factory threaded holes located on the vehicle's upper frame cross member. In some embodiments, the number of shims used may be determined by the alignment of the frame bracket and the transfer case support assembly at the through hole locations so that the through bolt may pass through without alignment issues.

[0058] In some embodiments, the frame bracket also has elongated holes to allow the bolts that fasten it to the vehicle's upper frame cross member to pass through. In further embodiments, the holes are sized to allow the at least one bolt to attach the first frame bracket to a cross member of the vehicle. The holes may be sized to allow the frame bracket to be adjusted from left to right in the vehicle.

[0059] In some embodiments, the holes make the transfer case support assembly fully adjustable and also allow the transfer case support assembly to be installed in a plurality of vehicles. In certain embodiments, these vehicles may include any Jeep Wrangler JK, whether two- door or four-door models, manufactured between 2007 and 2018, even though there may be minor position differences between each of the vehicle's transfer case and the upper frame cross member.

[0060] In certain vehicles, including a Jeep Wrangler JK, the four door models do not have the factory threaded holes in the upper frame cross member. Thus, in some embodiments, holes must be drilled through the upper frame cross member using dimensions supplied in the kit' s instruction sheets. In some embodiments, once holes are correctly drilled, the frame bracket can be bolted on to the upper frame cross member using bolts, lock nuts, and shims, and the transfer case support assembly can be correctly shimmed and installed on the vehicle.

[0061] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a bump stop 1 having a pre-drilled hole la in accordance with one embodiment. The bump stop 1 may have a length between approximately 1 ¾" to approximately 2 ¼", a width of approximately 1 ¼" to approximately 1 ¾", and a height of approximately 13/16" to approximately 15/16."

[0062] In some embodiments, the bump stops 1 may be made of a plastic or rubber material including, but not limited to, polyurethane, elastomers and PVC. These materials are only exemplary, and any suitable material may be used to manufacture the bump stops 1. In some embodiments, the bump stops 1 are made from polyurethane and have a durometer rating of about 70a to 90a, such as a durometer rating of about 80a.

[0063] In some embodiments, the pre-drilled hole la may accommodate a screw 3. In some embodiments, the pre-drilled hole la has a depth between approximately .250 inches and .500 inches, such as a depth of about .380 inches.

[0064] The pre-drilled hole 1 a may have a diameter sufficient to accommodate the screw 3. In some embodiments, the diameter of the pre-drilled hole may be between .100 inches and approximately .140 inches. In some embodiments, the diameter is approximately .125 inches.

[0065] The flat washer 2 may have an internal diameter sufficient to accommodate screw 3. In some embodiments, the internal dimension is approximately .180 inches to approximately .195 inches. In some embodiments, the flat washer 2 is a stainless steel, 3/16" by 1" flat washer.

[0066] During use, the screw 3 should fit through the flat washer 2 and be secured into the pre- drilled hole la. In some embodiments, the screw 3 is made of stainless steel and a slot hex washer head (as illustrated in FIG 1). In some embodiments, the screw 3 is a stainless steel #12 x ¾" slot hex washer sms screw. [0067] FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a vehicle's left-side forward frame rail section 6, which supports the vehicle's left-side motor mount frame bracket 5. As seen in FIG. 2, the motor mount frame bracket 5 houses the vehicle's left side motor mount 4.

[0068] Also shown in FIG. 2 is a pre-drilled factory hole 5a that allows the screw 3 of FIG. 1 to pass through the vehicle's motor mount frame bracket 5 and into the pre-drilled hole la of the bump stop 1 of FIG. 1. This allows the bump stop 1 to be positioned and fastened in the space between the vehicle's left side motor mount 4 and the motor mount frame bracket 5.

[0069] FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the bump stop 1 of FIG. 1 installed and fastened between the vehicle's left side motor mount 4 and the motor mount frame bracket 5. Also shown is the washer 2 and screw 3 of FIG. 1. Shown in both FIG. 2 and FIG. 3 are factory pre-drilled holes 5b that are not used in securing the bump stop 1 of FIG. 1.

[0070] FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the vehicle's right-side forward frame rail section 9, which supports the vehicle's right-side motor mount frame bracket 8. As seen in FIG. 4, the motor mount frame bracket 8 houses the vehicle's right-side motor mount 7. Also shown in FIG. 4 is a factory located hole 8a that allows the screw 3 of FIG. 1 to pass through the vehicle's motor mount frame bracket 8 and into the pre-drilled hole la of the bump stop 1 of FIG. 1. This allows the bump stop 1 to be positioned and fastened in the space between the vehicle's right-side motor mount 7 and the motor mount frame bracket 8.

[0071] FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of the bump stop 1 of FIG. 1 installed and fastened between the vehicle's right-side motor mount 7 and the motor mount frame bracket 8. Shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 are factory pre-drilled holes 8b that are not used in securing the bump stop 1 of FIG. 1.

[0072] FIG. 6 illustrates a rear view of the vehicle's transfer case 12 and the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10. As shown, the transfer case support assembly 11 may be installed onto the transfer case 12.

[0073] The transfer case support assembly 11 may include a bushing 19 secured within a frame bracket 16. As seen in FIG. 6, the frame bracket 16 is attached to the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 in the two-door model configuration by using the two-door model bolts 27, washers 26, and optionally shims 23, 24, and/or 25. [0074] In some embodiments, the frame bracket 16 may be attached to the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 using the two-door model shim 23 first, followed by a choice of shims 24 or 25 or a combination thereof. The combination of shims may depend on the space between the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 and the frame bracket 16. [0075] In some embodiments, the bolts 27 may be threaded into two factory threaded holes 14 located to the right-hand side of hole 10a (as illustrated in FIG. 8). As further illustrated in FIG. 6, the vehicle's rear drive shaft 13 may be attached to the vehicle's transfer case 12. As illustrated, the transfer case support assembly 11 may be curved in such a way as to mimic the curve of the vehicle's transfer case 12 and/or vehicle's rear drive shaft 13.

[0076] FIG. 7 illustrates a rear view of the vehicle' s transfer case 12 and the upper frame cross member 10 in a four-door model configuration. As seen in FIG. 7, the transfer case support assembly 11 may be installed onto the transfer case 12 using bolts 31.

[0077] In some embodiments, the transfer case support assembly 11 may have a bushing or a plurality of bushings 19 secured within a frame bracket 16. In some embodiments, the frame bracket 16 may attach to the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 in the four-door model configuration using the four-door model bolts 29, washers 26, and optionally shims 24 and/or 25.

[0078] In some embodiments, the frame bracket 16 may be attached to the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 using shims 24 and/or 25 or a combination thereof. The combination may depend on the space between the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 and the frame bracket 16.

[0079] In some embodiments, the bolts 29 may pass through the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 through the two holes 14 (as shown in FIG. 8). In some embodiments, the holes 14 may be drilled through the upper frame cross member 10. [0080] A user installing the transfer case support assembly 11 may drill the holes 14 at a specific angle or location on the vehicle. In some embodiments, instructions for such drilling may be included in a kit. These instructions may position the drilled holes 14 to the right of hole 10a. The holes 14 may be located in the same position as factory installed holes 14 in other vehicles (as shown in FIG. 8). For example, in two-door model Jeep Wranglers, the holes 14 may be factory installed. Once the bolts 29 pass through the upper frame cross member 10, a plurality of washers 26 and lock nuts 28 may fasten the bolts 29 to the upper frame cross member 10.

[0081] FIG. 8 illustrates a rear view of the vehicle's transfer case 12 and upper frame cross member 10 without the transfer case support assembly 11. As mentioned previously, FIG. 8 illustrates a pre-drilled factory hole 10a and two pre-drilled factory threaded holes 14. [0082] In some embodiments, the holes 14 may not be present at the time of vehicle production and must be installed post-vehicle production. A user may therefore create these holes 14 to the right of hole 10a (which may be factory installed). [0083] In some embodiments, instructions to install the holes 14 may be provided to a user along with the transfer case support assembly 11. The holes 14 may be drilled completely through the upper frame cross member 10 and located in the same position as the factory located threaded holes 14 other vehicle. In some embodiments, the frame bracket 16 may be attached to the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 using hardware threaded through these holes 14, whether factory located or measured out and drilled.

[0084] FIG. 8 also illustrates the factory threaded stand offs 30 of the transfer case 12. In some embodiments, the bolt(s) 31 of FIG. 7 may be used to attach the transfer case support assembly 11 to the vehicle's transfer case 12. FIG. 8 further illustrates a fluid drain plug 12a and a fluid fill plug 12b as further described below.

[0085] FIG. 9 illustrates an exploded perspective view of the transfer case support assembly 11 in proximity to the vehicle's transfer case 12 and the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10. In some embodiments, the transfer case 12 may have a plurality of threaded stand offs 30 to attach the transfer case support assembly 11 to the transfer case 12. In some embodiments, the transfer case 12 may have five threaded stand offs 30. In some embodiments, the transfer case support assembly 11 may have holes 30a arranged to match the bolt pattern of the transfer case's 12 threaded stand offs 30.

[0086] The transfer case support assembly 11 may have two holes 11a and 1 lb to allow access to the vehicle's transfer case 12 fluid drain plug 12a and fluid fill plug 12b (shown in FIG. 8). FIG. 9 illustrates the upper frame cross member 10 with hole 10a, which may be pre-drilled.

[0087] In some vehicles, such as a two-door model Jeep Wrangler, the holes 14 on the upper frame cross member 10 may be factory located threaded holes. In other vehicles, such as a four- door model Jeep Wrangler, holes 14 may be installed by a user.

[0088] Regardless of whether the holes 14 are factory-threaded holes or user-installed holes, these holes 14 may be used to attach the frame bracket 16 to the upper frame cross member 10 with hardware, such as hardware shown in FIG. 19 and FIG. 20. In some embodiments, the shims 23, 24 and/or 25 may be used to fill the space between the frame bracket 16 and the upper frame cross member 10. The number of and type of shims used may vary and may depend on the space to be filled. [0089] FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of the transfer case support assembly 11 connected to the vehicle transfer case 12. In some embodiments, bolts 31 connect the transfer case support assembly 11 to the vehicle's transfer case 12 by passing through the transfer case support assembly 11 and threading into the threaded stand offs 30 on the vehicle's transfer case 12. [0090] In some embodiments, the fluid drain plug access hole 11a and the fluid fill plug access hole 1 lb may allow access to the fluid drain plug 12a and the fluid fill plug 12b (as shown in FIG. 8) after the transfer case support assembly 11 is attached to the transfer case 12.

[0091] FIG. 10 also illustrates that, in some embodiments, at least one shim 23, 24, 25 may be used to connect the frame bracket 16 to the upper frame cross member 10. In some embodiments, assorted shims 23, 24 and 25 may fill the space between the frame bracket 16 and the upper frame cross member 10. The number of shims used to fill the space between the frame bracket 16 and the upper frame cross member 10 may depend on the vehicle model and the size of the space between the upper frame cross member 10 and the frame bracket 16. [0092] FIG. 11 illustrates a rear view of the transfer case support assembly 11 having a bushing 19 and a frame bracket 16. FIG. 11 also illustrates holes 30a arranged to align with the vehicle's transfer case's 12 threaded stand offs 30 in accordance with some embodiments. In some embodiments, holes 30a may have a diameter between about 7/16" to about 9/16", and in some embodiments the holes have a diameter of 1/2". The holes 30a may be sized to accommodate the bolts 31 that secure the transfer case support assembly 11 to the vehicle's transfer case 12.

[0093] FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate side and top-down perspective views, respectively, of the transfer case support assembly 11 having a bushing 19 and a frame bracket 16. In some embodiments, the frame bracket may have two oblong holes 15. These holes 15 may have a length of about 3/4" to about 1" and in some embodiments a length of 13/16". These holes 15 may have a width of about 13/32" to about 1/2", and in some embodiments a length of 7/16".

[0094] The holes 15 may be sized to accommodate bolts 27 and/or 29 to attach the frame bracket 16 to the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10. The oblong shape of the holes 15 may allow proper alignment of the frame bracket 16 to accommodate the bushing 19 by promoting adjustability along the oblong axis. [0095] FIG. 14 illustrates a perspective view of the transfer case support assembly 11 with hardware to attach the transfer case support assembly 11 to the vehicle's transfer case 12. The attachment of the transfer case support assembly to the vehicle's transfer case 12 is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10.

[0096] In some embodiments, the bolt 31 may be a M10-1.5x35 HHCS 10.9 Y bolt. In some embodiments, the lock washer 32 may be a lock washer M10 10.9 YZ. In some embodiments, the flat washers 26 may be M10 flat washers 10.9 YZ, and the washers 26 may be used as shims between the transfer case support assembly 11 and the vehicle's transfer case 12. The number of shims used may vary and may depend on the alignment of the transfer case support assembly 11 and/or the alignment of the frame bracket 16 at the bolt location holes 17a and 17b (as shown in FIG. 15). In some embodiments, the frame bracket 16 and the transfer case support assembly 11 may be aligned such that the through bolt 17 passes through bolt location holes 17a and 17b without alignment issues. [0097] FIG. 15 illustrates an exploded perspective view of the components that make up the transfer case support assembly 11. In some embodiments, the bushing 19 may include two pieces and may have a combined length between 2 15/16" and about 3 1/16", and in some embodiments the bushing 19 has a length of about 3". The bushing 19 may have an outer diameter between about 1 11/16" to about 1 13/16", and in some embodiments have an outer diameter of about 1 ¾". The bushing 19 may have an internal through hole 17c with an inside diameter from between about 11/16" to about 13/16", and in some embodiments the hole 17c has an inside diameter of about ¾".

[0098] In some embodiments, the bushing 19 may be made of plastic or rubber material, such as polyurethane, elastomers and PVC. The bushing 19 may be made of polyurethane and may have a durometer rating between about 70a to about 90a, and in some embodiments a durometer rating of 80a. In some embodiments, other suitable polymers may also be used to make the bushing 19.

[0099] In some embodiments, the bushing 19 may have or otherwise be configured to receive an internal sleeve 18. The internal sleeve 18 may have a length between about 2 15/16" to about 3 1/16", and in some embodiments the length may be about 3". The internal sleeve 18 may have an outer diameter between about l l/16"to about 15/16", and in some embodiments the outer diameter may be about ¾". In some embodiments, the internal sleeve may have a through hole 17b with an inner diameter between about 19/32" to about 21/32", and in some embodiments with an inner diameter of about 5/8". [00100] The sleeve 18 may be made of metal, such as mild steel, chromoly or aluminum. However, the sleeve 18 may be made of a plurality of other metals, as would be recognized by one skilled in the art.

[00101] In some embodiments, the two halves of the bushing 19 may be pressed into both sides of the inner diameter 34a of a tubular end piece 34 (as shown in FIG. 17) of the transfer case support assembly 11. In some embodiments, the sleeve 18 may then be pressed through hole 17c of the two halves of the bushing 19 to create the bushing through hole 17b. [00102] The bracket 16 may have at least two through holes 17a. In some embodiments, the through holes 17a may have an inner diameter between about 19/32" to about 21/32", and in some embodiments an inner diameter of about 5/8".

[00103] Once installed, the bracket 16 may straddle the bushing 19 such that the through holes 17a align with the bushing through hole 17b of the bushing sleeve 18. In some embodiments, the through holes 17a and 17b may have a diameter sufficient to allow the through bolt 17 to pass freely through the through holes 17a and 17b. The through bolt 17 may be secured with a flat washer 20 and by a lock nut 21 after passing through the through holes 17a and 17b.

[00104] In some embodiments, the through bolt 17 may be a 5/8-18x5 HHCS GR8 YZ. In some embodiments, the flat washer 20 may be a 5/8 flat washer YZ. In some embodiments, the lock nut may be a 5/8-18 GR8 nylon lock nut YZ.

[00105] FIG. 16 illustrates a perspective view of the transfer case support assembly 11 and the frame bracket 16 in an assembled, welded form. In some embodiments, the welds 22 (i.e., weld seams) may be performed by a welding process such as, for example, MIG welding, TIG welding and gas-based welding. However, other suitable forms of welding may be used to create welds 22.

[00106] The transfer case support assembly 11 may also be coated in a rust proof coating 33. The rust proof coating 33 may be applied in multiple ways, such as by a powder coating, plating, or by a sprayable, rust preventative coating. However, other suitable processes may be used to achieve a rust proof coating 33.

[00107] FIG. 17 illustrates an exploded perspective view of three components that help make up the transfer case support assembly 11 in accordance with some embodiments. The tubular end piece 34 may have a length between about 2 7/16" to about 2 9/16", and in some embodiments a length of about 2 1/2". The tubular end piece 34 may have an outside diameter between of about 1 15/16" to about 2 1/16", and in some embodiments an outside diameter of about 2".

[00108] The tubular end piece 34 may have an inner diameter between about 1 11/16" to about 1 13/16", and in some embodiments an inner diameter of about 1 ¾". The inner diameter of the tubular end may vary as long as it can accommodate the bushing 19.

[00109] In some embodiments, the tubular extension 35 may have a length between about 5 ¼" to about 5 3/8", and in some embodiments a length of about 5 5/16". The tubular extension 35 may have an outside diameter between about 1 15/16" to about 2 1/16", and in some embodiments an outside diameter of about 2". In some embodiments, the tubular extension 35 may have an inner diameter between about 1 11/16" to about 1 13/16", and in some embodiments an inner diameter of about 1 ¾".

[00110] In some embodiments, the tubular extension 35 may have a notch 35a on one end to accommodate a weldable fit between tubular extension 35 and tubular end piece 34. The tubular end piece 34 and the tubular extension 35 may be made of metal such as mild steel, chromoly, or aluminum. In some embodiments, the tubular end piece 34 and the tubular extension 35 may be in some embodiments made of mild steel. However, the tubular end piece 34 and/or the tubular extension 35 may also be made of other materials. In some embodiments, the bushing 19 may be installed in the inner diameter 34a in the tubular end piece 34 of the transfer case support assembly 11 (as shown in FIG. 17).

[00111] In some embodiments, the base plate 36 may have a general shape slightly larger than the area outlined by the stand offs 30 (as shown in FIG. 9) of the vehicle's transfer case 12. The holes 30a in the base plate 36 may be arranged to align with the threaded stand offs of the vehicle' s transfer case 12. [00112] The holes 30a may have an inner diameter between about 7/16" to about 9/16", and in some embodiments an inner diameter of about 1/2". The inner diameter of the holes 30a may vary as long as the holes 30a can accommodate bolts 31 (as shown in FIG. 14).

[00113] In some embodiments, the two holes 11a and l ib in the base plate 36 may provide access to the fluid drain plug 12a and the fluid fill plug 12b, which may be located on the vehicle's transfer case 12 (as shown in FIG. 8). The holes 1 1a and 1 lb may have an inner diameter between about 1" to about 1 ¼", and in some embodiments an inner diameter of 1 1/8". The inner diameter of the holes 1 la and 1 lb may vary as long as the holes can accommodate tools to remove or replace plugs 12a and 12b.

[00114] The base plate 36 may be made of metal such as mild steel, chromoly, or aluminum. In some embodiments, the base plate 36 may be in some embodiments made of mild steel. However, the base plate 36 may be made of other suitable materials as long as the features of various embodiments described herein may be accomplished. In some embodiments, the base plate 36 may have a thickness between about 5/32" to about 7/32", and in some embodiments a thickness of about 3/16". [00115] FIG. 18 illustrates an exploded view of the frame bracket 16 with five components (as shown in FIG. 15). These components may include the top plate 37, side plates 38, and spacer plates 39. [00116] The top plate 37 may have a length between about 3 ½" to about 3 5/8", and in some embodiments a length of about 3 9/16". The top plate 37 may have a width between about 2 7/16" to about 2 9/16", and in some embodiments a width of about 2 ½". The top plate 37 may have a thickness between about 7/32" to about 9/32", and in some embodiments a thickness of about ¼". [00117] The top plate 37 may have two oblong holes 15, each with a length between about ¾" to about 7/8", and in some embodiments a length of about 13/16". The oblong holes 15 may have a width between about 13/32" to about 15/32", and in some embodiments a width of about 7/16". The internal size of the oblong holes 15 may be of sufficient size to accommodate the bolts 27 and 29. A selection of bolts 27 and 29 may depend on the model of the vehicle, as further shown in FIG. 19 and FIG. 20.

[00118] The side plates 38 may have a length between about 3 1/2" to about 3 5/8", and in some embodiments a length of about 3 9/16". The side plates 38 may have width between about 2 7/16" to about 2 9/16", and in some embodiments a width of about 2 ½". The side plates 38 may have a thickness between about 7/32" to about 9/32", and in some embodiments a thickness of about ¼". [00119] The side plates 38 may have holes 17a with an inner diameter between about 19/32" to about 21/32", and in some embodiments an inner diameter of about 5/8". The inner diameter of the holes 17a may be sufficient to accommodate the through bolt 17 (as shown in FIG. 15).

[00120] In some embodiments, the spacer plates 39 may have a length between about 2 7/16" to about 2 9/16", and in some embodiments the spacer plate 39 may have a length of about 2 ½". In some embodiments, the spacer plates 39 may have a width between about 2 7/16" to about 2 9/16", and in some embodiments the spacer plate 39 may have a width of about 2 ½". In some embodiments, the spacer plate 39 may have a thickness between about 7/32" to about 9/32", and in some embodiments the spacer plate 39 may have a thickness of about ¼".

[00121] In some embodiments, the spacer plates 39 may have holes 17a with an inner diameter between about 19/32" to about 21/32", and in some embodiments an inner diameter of about 5/8". The internal size of the holes 17a in the spacer plate 39 may have an internal size sufficient to accommodate the through bolt 17 (as shown in FIG. 15).

[00122] The top plate 37, side plates 38, and the spacer plates 39 may be made of metal such as mild steel, chromoly, and/or aluminum, and in some embodiments made of mild steel. However, the top plates 37, side plates 38 and the spacer plates 39 may be made of other suitable material.

[00123] FIG. 19 illustrates a perspective view of the specific hardware used in mounting the frame bracket 16 to the vehicle' s upper frame cross member 10 in a two-door model Jeep Wrangler JK in accordance with some embodiments. The two-door specific upper starter shim 23 may have a length between about 3 1/16" to about 3 3/16", and in some embodiments a length of about 3 1/8". The upper starter shim 23 may have a width between about 1 3/16" to about 1 5/16", and in some embodiments a width of about 1 ¼". The upper starter shim 23 may have a thickness between about 1/16" to about 1/8", and in some embodiments a thickness of about 3/32". [00124] In some embodiments, the shims 24 may have a length between about 3 ½" to about 3 5/8", and in some embodiments a length of about 3 9/16". In some embodiments, the shims 24 may have a width between about 1 3/16" to about 1 5/16" and in some embodiments a width of about 1 ¼". The shims 24 may have a thickness between about 1/16" to about 1/8", and in some embodiments a thickness of about 3/32". [00125] In some embodiments, the shims 25 may have a length between about 3 ½" to about 3 5/8", and in some embodiments a length of about 3 9/16". The shims 25 may have a width between about 1 3/16" to about 1 5/16", and in some embodiments a width of about 1 ¼". The shims 25 may have a thickness between about 5/32" to about 7/32", and in some embodiments a thickness of about 3/16". [00126] In some embodiments, the shims 23, 24 and 25 may be plated with zinc, silver zinc and/or yellow zinc.

[00127] In some embodiments, the flat washers 26 may be a M10 flat washer 10.9 YZ. In some embodiments, bolt 27 may be a Ml 0-1.5x45 HHCS 10.9 YZ.

[00128] FIG. 20 illustrates a perspective view of the specific hardware used in mounting the frame bracket 16 to the vehicle's upper frame cross member 10 in the four-door model Jeep Wrangler JK in accordance with one embodiment. The shims 24 may each have a length between about 3 ½" to about 3 5/8", and in some embodiments a length of about 3 9/16". The shims 24 may have a width between about 1 3/16" to about 1 5/16", and in some embodiments a width of about 1 ¼". The shims 24 may have a thickness between about 1/16" to about 1/8", and in some embodiments a thickness of about 3/32".

[00129] The shims 25 may have a length between about 3 ½" to about 3 5/8", and in some embodiments a length of about 3 9/16". In some embodiments, the shims 25 may have a width between about 1 3/16" to about 1 5/16", and in some embodiments a width of about 1 ¼". The shims 25 may have a thickness between about 5/32" to about 7/32", and in some embodiments a thickness of about 3/16".

[00130] The shims 24 and 25 may be plated with zinc, silver zinc, and/or yellow zinc. [00131] The flat washers 26 may be a Ml 0 flat washer 10.9 YZ. The lock nuts 28 may be M10- 1.5 nylon insert lock nut class 10 zinc, and the bolts 29 may be M10-1.5x65 HHCS 10.9 YZ.

[00132] The methods, systems, and devices discussed above are examples. Various configurations may omit, substitute, or add various procedures or components as appropriate. For instance, in alternative configurations, the methods may be performed in an order different from that described, and that various steps may be added, omitted, or combined. Also, features described with respect to certain configurations may be combined in various other configurations. Different aspects and elements of the configurations may be combined in a similar manner. Also, technology evolves and, thus, many of the elements are examples and do not limit the scope of the disclosure or claims.

[00133] A statement that a value exceeds (or is more than) a first threshold value is equivalent to a statement that the value meets or exceeds a second threshold value that is slightly greater than the first threshold value, e.g., the second threshold value being one value higher than the first threshold value in the resolution of a relevant system. A statement that a value is less than (or is within) a first threshold value is equivalent to a statement that the value is less than or equal to a second threshold value that is slightly lower than the first threshold value, e.g., the second threshold value being one value lower than the first threshold value in the resolution of the relevant system.

[00134] Specific details are given in the description to provide a thorough understanding of example configurations (including implementations). However, configurations may be practiced without these specific details. For example, well-known circuits, processes, algorithms, structures, and techniques have been shown without unnecessary detail in order to avoid obscuring the configurations. This description provides example configurations only, and does not limit the scope, applicability, or configurations of the claims. Rather, the preceding description of the configurations will provide those skilled in the art with an enabling description for implementing described techniques. Various changes may be made in the function and arrangement of elements without departing from the spirit or scope of the disclosure.

[00135] Having described several example configurations, various modifications, alternative constructions, and equivalents may be used without departing from the spirit of the disclosure. For example, the above elements may be components of a larger system, wherein other rules may take precedence over or otherwise modify the application of various implementations or techniques of the present disclosure. Also, a number of steps may be undertaken before, during, or after the above elements are considered. [00136] Having been provided with the description and illustration of the present application, one skilled in the art may envision variations, modifications, and alternate embodiments falling within the general inventive concept discussed in this application that do not depart from the scope of the following claims.