Patent Number: 6,241,266

Title: Trailing arm suspension with wrapper compression axle mounting and articulated axle mounting

Abstract: A vehicle axle has mounted thereto a vehicle component, such as a brake actuator, a radius rod or track bar tower or a suspension for mounting the axle to the vehicle frame through an axle wrapper band which uniformly compresses the axle to provide a substantial frictional force between the axle and the wrapper band of a magnitude to prevent any appreciable translation or rotational movement of the axle with respect to the wrapper band in normal service on a vehicle. The axle can be round or multi-sided and the wrapper band has a corresponding shape. The wrapper band can be formed in parts, for example, U-shaped or L-shaped halves, and compressed towards each other before joining the halves either by welding or by a mechanical attachment. Alternatively, the wrapper band can be unitary in nature, heated and press-fit onto the axle. The wrapper band applies compressive pressure uniformly to the axle along multiple angularly spaced axes and minimizes or eliminates the need for welding the components to the axle. In one embodiment, a trailing arm suspension mounts an axle to a trailing arm through an axle-beam connector which includes a wrapper band which retains the axle on the axle-beam connector to prevent movement of the axle with respect to the wrapper band under ordinary service conditions. Two axle-beam connectors are mounted to one of the arms at one end thereof through a bushed connection and are rigidly connected to the axle at another end thereof through compression mounting by the wrapper bands. Each of the arms forms a collar which receives the axle. An elastomeric layer is positioned between the axle and the collar for articulation between the axle and the collar. Each of the beam-axle connectors is identical and is symmetrical about a longitudinal axis. Each beam-axle connector is generally triangular in two dimensional configuration and has a reinforcing gusset at an upper portion thereof and at a lower portion thereof. Each beam-axle connector further includes an arcuate plate at the other end thereof and through which the beam-axle connector is mounted to the axle.

Inventors: Smith; John P. (Grand Rapids, MI), Pierce; William C. (Muskegon, MI)

Assignee: Holland Neway International, Inc.

International Classification: B60G 11/27 (20060101); B60G 11/26 (20060101); B60B 35/00 (20060101); B60G 9/00 (20060101); B60B 35/08 (20060101); B60B 35/04 (20060101); B60G 011/26 ()

Expiration Date: 06/05/2018