Equipment and method in vehicle alignment work
The invention concerns a device and a method in vehicle body alignment work.
In recent years, automobile body constructions have become common in which the joint of the skirt beam in the car body is placed merely on the upper part of the beam. This sets new requirements for the device for alignment of an automobile body.
In the present patent application, a device of a novel type for alignment of an automobile body is described, which device is suitable for alignment work of different kinds, both for aligning of car bodies provided with an upper joint of skirt beam only and also for aligning of usual automobile bodies with a lower joint of the skirt beam. The equipment is also very well suitable for alignment work on vehicles provided with mere chassis beams, such as lorries and equivalent. The alignment device described in the present patent application is also very well suitable for small garage spaces, because the space required by it is small.
An alignment device in accordance with the invention comprises a base frame of the alignment device, and therein the base frame preferably consists of three box beams parallel to the longitudinal axis of the frame and of the vehicle, which beams are interconnected by a connecting beam which is placed transverse to said three box beams. Also the connecting beam preferably has a box beam construction. The beams are preferably of square section. The construction rests on wheels and can also be moved on the wheels concerned to under the vehicle. The construction comprises an either fixed or attachable alignment boom, which boom can be pivoted horizontally around an articulated shaft to different alignment positions. The alignment boom comprises a horizontal beam and a vertical beam attached to its end, and said beams are articulated, in which case, by means of a power unit, preferably
by means of a hydraulic actuator and most favourably by means of a hydraulic cylinder, the vertical boom can be pivoted in relation to the horizontal boom and the power can be applied to the object of alignment by means of a pulling rope or chain or any other, equivalent draw tool. The pulling rope or chain is attached to the vertical beam, and the other end is attached to the object of alignment in the vehicle by means of a separate tool attachable to the vehicle.
The alignment boom can be locked in a desired horizontal position by means of a separate locking device in itself known. In accordance with the invention, there are horizontally pivotal beams at the opposite end of the base frame. A bushing part is attached to the end of the beams to which bushing part a clamp can be attached that is further attachable to the so called skirt joints of a vehicle, i.e. to the joints of the chassis beam of the body. Preferably, said pivotal beams have a telescope construction, in which case their length can be adjusted as desired. The beams can be pivoted to such a position under a vehicle that the skirt fastenings connected with the beams and placed at their ends can be placed in connection with the vehicle and locked at the joints of the beam. There are two of the above pivotal beams in an alignment device, one at each side of the longitudinal axis (X-line) of the alignment device.
The alignment device in accordance with the invention further comprises a second set of skirt fastenings, which can be positioned peφendicularly to the longitudinal axis (X-line) of the alignment device, on both sides of the longitudinal axis X. Said skirt fastenings can be moved perpendicularly to the longitudinal axis (X-axis). Said skirt fastenings can be moved preferably so that they are connected to a separate beam which can be shifted inside the transverse beam (d,) of the base frame and which can be locked with respect to said beam, preferably by screw means.
The vehicle is first lifted by means of a jack at its rear end, and separate support frames are placed under the rear wheels of the vehicle. After this the vehicle is lifted by its front end, and a small alignment device in accordance with the invention is placed under the vehicle. First the skirt fastenings in connection with the base frame are locked, as was explained above, which fastenings can be positioned perpendicu-
larly to the longitudinal axis (X-axis) of the base frame and which can also be positioned vertically, and after this the skirt fastenings which are fitted on the pivotal beams, preferably telescopic beams, are locked in connection with the vehicle, having first been turned into the correct alignment with respect to the joints in the skirt beams of the vehicle.
The invention is characterized in what is stated in the patent claims.
The invention will be described in the following with reference to some preferred embodiments of the invention illustrated in the figures in the accompanying drawings, the invention being, however, not supposed to be confined to said embodiments alone.
Figure 1A is an axonometric view of an alignment device in accordance with the invention.
Figure IB shows the alignment device of Fig. 1A placed in the hall space E.
Figure 1C shows an exemplifying embodiment of locking of the alignment boom.
Figure 2 is an illustration in part of the connection of the pivotal beam with the base frame of the alignment device.
Figure 3 is a separate illustration of the fastening construction of the skirt fastening connected to the end of the pivotal beam.
In Figure 4A the alignment device in accordance with the invention is placed under a vehicle, illustrated by dashed-dotted lines, and the pivotal booms are fitted on the line of the joints of the edge beam.
Figure 4B shows area Fj of Fig. 4A. The figure illustrates the skirt fastening construction attachable to the base frame, which construction grasps the joint on the lower side of the beam of the vehicle.
Figure 4C illustrates the fastening of the beam to the joint on the lower side of the skirt beam of the vehicle.
Figure 5A shows a second preferred use of the device in accordance with the invention, wherein the vehicle is grasped by a joint on the top side of the skirt beam.
Figure 5B shows the tool of Fig. 5A, a so-called intermediate fastening, as a separate illustration, and Figure 5C shows the skirt fastening construction connected to the tool of Fig. 5B as a separate illustration.
Figure 5D shows the alignment device in a work situation in which the skirt fastenings of the device are fastened to the upper joint of the skirt beam of the vehicle.
Figure 5E shows the area F3 of Fig. 5D.
Figure 6A shows the operation of a device in accordance with the invention, in which the fastening shown in Fig. 5C is connected to the fastening shown in Fig. 5B so that only the direction of the fastening shown in Fig. 5C is altered. Thus, by means of the fastening construction, it is well possible to grasp also a joint on the side of the skirt beam of a vehicle.
Figure 6B shows an embodiment of the invention in which, by means of the fastening construction at the end of the pivotal beam, the joint on the side of the skirt beam of a vehicle is grasped. The construction of Fig. 6B is in the other respects similar to the fastening construction shown in Fig. 3, but in said construction the shaft connected to the skirt joint is placed in a through hole in the shaft passing through a bushing of the fastening construction.
Figure 7A shows the use of the device in accordance with the invention in the work of alignment of a lorry consisting of a beam construction alone.
Figure 7B shows the area F4 of Fig. 7 A on an enlarged scale.
Figure 7C shows the solution of equipment as an illustration in part viewed from the side.
Figures 8A, 8B, 8C and 8D illustrate a method applied in the device for alignment work. In Fig. 8A the vehicle is raised from its rear end by means of a jack, and a support frame is placed under the wheels. In Fig. 8B an alignment device in accordance with the invention is shifted to under the vehicle so that the pivotal beams are perpendicular to the longitudinal axis (X-axis) of the device, in which connection the device concerned can be brought easily to the space underneath the vehicle. Figure 8C shows spreading of the beams so that the skirt fastenings at the ends of the beams are aligned on a line with the skirt fastenings that are connected to the base frame. Fig. 8D shows a device in alignment work, wherein the alignment power is applied through the pulling rope or chain V to the object of alignment in the vehicle by using a hydraulic cylinder and pivoting the vertical beam.
Fig. 1A shows a device 10 for alignment of an automobile body in accordance with the invention. The alignment device 10 comprises the base frame 11 , which comprises the mid beam 12 on the centre line X (X-axis), which is positioned in the direction of the longitudinal axis of the vehicle to be repaired, and side beams 13 and 14 at the sides of said mid beam. The beams 12, 13, and 14 are preferably rectangular and most advantageously square-section box beams, which are, thus, of hollow construction and open at one end. In this connection different tools can be fitted telescopically in the beams 12,13 and 14. The beams 12, 13 and 14 are interconnected by a transverse beam dj, and the opposite ends of the beams 12, 13 and 14 by plates dj and d2.
The transverse beam d- is preferably a square-section beam, which is open on one end and into whose hollow interior it is possible to fit a smaller beam 25 that can be adjusted telescopically to different positions, to which beam the skirt fastenings can be attached. The skirt fastenings can be locked onto the joint of the skirt beam of the vehicle body.
The equipment comprises a connected or connectable alignment boom 15. The alignment boom 15 can be pivoted around the vertical axis yi and moved in the horizontal plane and locked to different angles in said horizontal plane (arrow S,). The alignment boom 15 comprises a horizontal boom section 15a and a vertical boom section 15b and an articulated joint 15c between them. A hydraulic cylinder 16 or some other power device is fitted between the beams 15a and 15b, and when the hydraulic cylinder 16 is operated, the vertical beam 15b is displaced and pivoted, in which connection the tool connected to it, for example a chain or other pulling rope or cable, attached to the vehicle from its other end, applies the alignment power to its point of attachment in the car. Pivoting of the beam 15b around the articulated joint 15c is denoted with the arrow S2. The construction of the alignment boom 15 can differ in many ways from the above. It can be a standard construction non- detachable in connection with the base frame, or as is shown in Fig. 1A, said alignment boom can be detachable with respect to the base frame. In the construction shown in Fig. 1A, the alignment boom can be pivoted into the desired horizontal positions (arrow S -) and locked in different horizontal positions by means of the locking device 17 shown in Fig. 1C.
As is shown in Fig. 1A, symmetrically at both sides of the central axis (X-line), there are horizontally pivotal beams 18aι ,18a2, which beams are preferably telescopic beams as shown in the figure. Each beam 18aj, 18a2 comprises beam parts 19 and 20, of which the beam part 20 moves inside the beam part 19 and can be locked to the beam 19 by means of a locking device 21, preferably a screw device. The screw device 21 is passed through the threaded hole in the beam 19 to the beam 20 in the locking situation. The beam 18aι ,18a2 is articulated to pivot horizontally around the articulation point 180,181. The beams 18aι , 18a2 are connected to the
brackets mi and m2 of the base frame. The pivot axes are denoted with y2 and y3. A ground support nj is further placed on the beam 19, which support is a safety support and prevents a possible loss of stability during tilting of the vehicle by touching the ground. There is enough space between the ground support n} and the ground in a normal operating position. Each beam 18at , 18a2 comprises a through bushing 22 at the end of its beam section 20, to which bushing a clamp 23, which will be described separately, can be mounted. The clamp 23 further comprises a skirt fastening, which can be locked to the joint of the skirt beam in the vehicle. The base frame 11 comprises wheels p, on whose support the alignment device 10 can be moved.
Fig. IB shows an alignment device in accordance with the invention placed in a hall space E so that it occupies as little space as possible. The largest measures Lj and shown in the figure remain as small as possible, in which connection the align- ment device can be placed in the hall so that it requires as little space as possible. As is illustrated in Fig. IB, the alignment device is placed by the end wall of the hall space. The figure clearly shows that the space required by the device is little compared with other alignment devices.
Fig. IC shows a locking device 17 for the alignment boom 15. The alignment boom 15 can be pivoted around the vertical axis y , as shown by the arrow Sj . A tooth rim 101 has been connected to the base frame 11 detachably. The beam 15a pivots, supported by the shaft 102, into the desired angle positions, and the locking is carried out by turning the counter-tooth part connected with the beam 15a against the toothing on the tooth rim 100.
Fig. 2 shows the articulation of the beams 18aι and 18a2 by their ends by means of pivot joints 180 and 181 on the base frame 11 of the alignment device, on the plates m, and m2 on the beam dj of the base frame. The beam 18aj is fitted to pivot around the vertical axis y2, and the beam 18a2 is fitted to pivot around the vertical axis y3. The pivot joint 180 and 181 is preferably composed of a screw that is passed through the beam 18aj and 18a2. At the same time the screws 180,181 fasten
the beam constructions 18aι ,18a2 between the plates mi and m2. Thus, the beams 18aj ,18a2 can be pivoted in the horizontal plane around the vertical axes y2 and y3.
Fig. 3 is a more detailed illustration of the skirt fastening 23 to be mounted to the end of the pivotal beam 18a,,18a2. The fastening 23 comprises a screw 230, on whose threading the nuts 23aι ,23a2 are fitted to revolve, which nuts are fitted to be at opposite sides of the bushing 22. The bushing 22 includes a free hole. Thus, the screw 230 is passed through the free hole in the bushing 22, and the position of the screw 230 with respect to the bushing is adjusted by means of the nuts 23a, ,23a2. At the end of the screw 230, there is a bushing 233, through whose free hole a shaft 234 is passed, at whose end there is a skirt fastening 235. By means of the screw Rj, which is passed through the threaded hole in the bushing 233 into connection with the shaft 234, the position of the shaft 234 with respect to the bushing 233 and, thus, the position of the fastening 235 are adjusted. The fastening is a normal skirt fastening, which comprises the clamp jaws between which the joint g of the skirt beam is placed.
Figure 4A shows an alignment device 10 in accordance with the invention under a vehicle illustrated by dashed-dotted lines.
Figure 4B shows the area Fj of Fig. 4A as a separate illustration and the fastening 25 as taken apart. The fastening 25 can be moved in the direction transverse to the longitudinal axis and the central axis (X axis) of the alignment device 10, and it can be locked by the screws R2 to the beam dj of the base frame 11. The beam 250 of the fastening 25 is passed inside the beam dj and can be locked with respect to the beam di . There is a vertical beam 251 at the end of the horizontal beam 250 of the fastening 25, which vertical beam opens towards the top and to which beam it is possible to mount the beam 28 of a separate T-fastening 27, as is illustrated in the figure. Clamps 29a i and 29a2 are attached to the beam 270 of the fastening 27 by means of screws 30 and 31. A beam 28 in the mid area of the beam 270 of the fastening 27 can be fitted into connection with the vertical beam 251 of the fastening 25 telescopically, and it can be locked on said beam by means of screws R3 and R4.
As is illustrated in Fig. 4B, a measurement beam 252 is further connected to the vertical beam 251, on whose support the measurement device can be mounted while the other end of the measurement beam of the measurement device rests on a separate transverse bar that is placed on the pivotal beam 18aι ,18a2.
Figure 4C shows a grip, in accordance with the construction in Figs. 4 A and 4B, on the edge or joint on the lower side of the skirt beam of the vehicle. Fig. 4C shows lowering of the vehicle onto the support of the skirt fastening.
Fig. 5 A shows the use of a device in accordance with the invention in another work procedure, in which the skirt fastenings grasp the edge g on the upper side of the skirt beam of a vehicle.
Figure 5B shows a part of the construction in accordance with Fig. 5 A, in which a separate intermediate fastening 26 is fitted by its vertical beam 26a to a free hole at the top of the vertical beam 251 of the fastener 25. The vertical beam 26a is connected with a transverse beam 26b passing to the side from said vertical beam 26a and placed perpendicularly to the centre line of said vertical beam 26a, and said transverse beam 26b is further connected with a vertical beam portion 26c perpen- dicular to the longitudinal axis of the beam 26b and parallel to the longitudinal axis of the beam 26a. By means of the above arrangement a sufficient transfer to the side is produced in order to grasp the vertical edge of the skirt beam of a vehicle from above.
Fig. 5C further illustrates the fastening 27 connected to the construction of Fig. 5B, which fastening corresponds to the fastening in Fig. 4B except that the fastening 27 is turned so that the connection beam 28 is placed towards the top, as is illustrated in Fig. 5 A. The fastening 27 is connected by a screw R5 to the beam 26c of the intermediate fastening 26. The screw R5 is passed through the hole 32 in the beam 270 and through the beam 26c.
The T-fastening 27 comprises a box beam 270 and a fastening beam 28 connected to the mid area of the box beam. As is shown in Fig. 5C, screws 31 are passed through the beam 270 (through the free holes) and so that the screws 31 are further passed through the free hole j2 in one half of the skirt fastening of the fastening 29 and further into connection with the threaded hole ji in the other half of the skirt fastening. There is a spring P between the fastening halves. By turning the screw 31 , the halves of the fastening 29a2 are opened and closed. The principle of operation of the fastening 29aι is similar. However, it has to be noted that only one skirt fastening construction is shown, and the fastenings themselves can differ from this embodiment even to a considerable extent. As is shown in Fig. 5C, the beam 270 comprises through holes 32 through which the screw R5 can be passed. When the fastening 27 is used in a joint grip from above, the screw is, in accordance with the illustration of Fig. 5C, thus, passed through the holes passing through the vertical beam 26c of the intermediate fastening 26 and further through the holes 32 passing through the beam 270 of fastening 27.
Fig. 5D shows the fastening construction in connection with a vehicle.
Fig. 5E shows the area F3 of Fig. 5D in an enlarged scale.
Fig. 6A shows an embodiment of the invention in which, by means of a construction 26 in accordance with Fig. 5 A and by using the fastening construction or the seat construction 27 of Fig. 5C or Fig. 4B and by changing the fastening direction of the construction concerned, the construction can also be made to grasp a joint on the side of the skirt beam of the vehicle. The beams 250,251,26a and 26c are preferably of square section.
Fig. 6B shows a construction connected with the pivotal beam 18aj ,18a2, in which a skirt fastening 235 is fastened by its shaft 235a to the hole passing through the shaft 234.
Fig. 7 A shows an embodiment of the invention in which an alignment device 10 in accordance with the invention is used in the alignment of a lorry with a frame construction by attaching the vehicle from its chassis beams, illustrated with dashed- dotted lines, to the alignment device.
Fig. 7B shows the area F of Fig. 7 A. The vehicle rests by its beams on support of separate angle fastenings and is attached to L- section fastenings K by welding.
Fig. 7C shows the construction of Fig. 7 A as a side view.
Figs. 8A...8D show the method in accordance with the invention in the vehicle alignment work step by step. As is shown in Fig. 8 A, the vehicle is driven into the hall space E and raised by means of a jack T so that a support frame O can be placed under both rear wheels. In Fig. 8B the alignment device is moved to under the front end of the vehicle, as is shown by the arrow. In this stage, the front end of the vehicle has been raised by a jack. In Fig. 8C the pivoting of the booms is illustrated by means of arrows so that the skirt fastenings connected to the booms are adjusted in line with the skirt fastenings connected to the base frame of the alignment device. Fig. 8D shows an alignment device in alignment work. The pulling rope or chain V is attached to the vertical beam 15b of the alignment boom 15.