Brake pedal apparatus for automotive vehicle

Motor vehicles – With means for promoting safety of vehicle – its occupant or... – Responsive to engagement of portion of perimeter of vehicle...

Reexamination Certificate

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Details

C180S275000, C074S512000

Reexamination Certificate

active

06176340

ABSTRACT:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to a brake pedal apparatus for an automotive vehicle.
2. Description of the Related Art
A brake pedal apparatus for an automotive vehicle is, for example, as shown in Japanese Utility Model Unexamined Publication No. 6-1113, structured such that a pedal bracket supporting an upper end portion of a pedal arm in a freely rotatable manner is fastened to a dash lower panel and a lower surface portion of a dash upper panel connected to the dash lower panel and projecting to a vehicle cabin, and that a push rod connected to the upper end portion of the pedal arm is forward pressed by stepping on the pedal arm, thereby operating a Master vac.
When the Master vac or the dash lower panel fixing the Master vac is deformed to be backward move to the vehicle cabin at a time of a front collision of the vehicle, a rotational force in a direction inverse to a stepping direction is operated on the pedal arm through the push rod of the Master vac. Accordingly, a stepping position of the brake pedal is rearward shifted and there is a risk that a feeling of physical disorder is generated.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
An object of the present invention is to provide a brake pedal apparatus for an automotive vehicle which can prevent a collision load from operating on a pedal arm through a push rod of a Master vac at a time of a front collision of a vehicle and can avoid a load from operating to a foot portion of a driver.
In order to achieve the object mentioned above, in accordance with the present invention, there is provided a brake pedal apparatus for an automotive vehicle, comprising:
a pedal bracket fixed to a dash panel;
a pedal arm supported by the pedal bracket in a freely rotatable manner;
a push rod lever supported by the pedal bracket in a freely rotatable manner and connected to a push rod; and
a clutch mechanism integrally connecting the pedal arm to the push rod lever at a normal time, and disconnecting the pedal arm from the push rod lever when a collision detecting sensor detects a collision.
In accordance with the present invention, since the pedal arm and the push rod lever are integrally connected to each other by the clutch means at a normal state, the pedal arm and the push rod lever are integrally rotated by a stepping operation of the pedal arm. Accordingly, a Master vac operation which corresponds to an operation of a normal brake pedal apparatus can be performed.
On the contrary, when the vehicle collides frontward, the clutch means is operated by a detecting effect of the collision detecting means so as to disconnect the pedal arm from the push rod lever, so that the Master vac is rearward moved. Otherwise, even when the dash panel is deformed to the vehicle cabin so that the push rod of the Master vac is rearward moved, the push rod lever is rotated so as to strike the air. Accordingly, it can be avoided that the collision load is input to the pedal arm.
In the structure mentioned above, the pedal arm and the push rod lever may be supported by the pedal shaft provided in the pedal bracket. Further, any one of the push rod lever and the pedal arm may be supported in a freely slidable manner in an axial direction of the pedal shaft.
Further, the clutch mechanism may be constituted by engagement portions formed in the pedal arm and the push rod lever and engaging with each other, and a positioning mechanism which is positioned so that the engagement portions of the push rod lever and the pedal arm are engaged with each other at a normal time and is deformed when a load is over a predetermined value so as to allow any one of the push rod lever and the pedal arm to move so that an engagement between the engagement portions is removed in an axial direction of the pedal shaft.
In accordance with this structure, since the clutch mechanism is structured as a mechanical clutch construction by engagement portions formed in the pedal arm and the push rod lever and engaging with each other, and a positioning mechanism which is positioned so that the engagement portions of the push rod lever and the pedal arm are engaged with each other at a normal time and is deformed when a load is over a predetermined value so as to allow any one of the push rod lever and the pedal arm to move so that an engagement between the engagement portions is removed in an axial direction of the pedal shaft, a construction is simple and a cost thereof is advantageous.
The engagement portions may be formed on end surfaces of each of boss portions of the pedal arm and the push rod lever.
Further, the engagement portion may be constituted by a hook portion formed in any one of the pedal arm and the push rod lever, and the other front and rear side edges engaging with the hook portion.
Still further, the positioning mechanism may be constituted by a clutch arm supported by an arm shaft provided in the pedal bracket in parallel to the pedal shaft in a freely slidable manner in an axial direction and connected to any one of the push rod lever and the pedal arm, and a positioning member positioning the clutch arm to a predetermined position in an axial direction of the arm shaft and deformed when a load is over a predetermined value so as to allow the clutch arm to move in an axial direction.
In accordance with this structure, since the clutch arm of the positioning mechanism slides in the axial direction of the arm shaft which is in parallel to the pedal shaft, the push rod lever or the pedal arm can be smoothly slidden in the axial direction on the pedal shaft, so that the clutch operation can be smoothly performed.
Furthermore, the collision detecting sensor may be constituted so as to detect a rearward movement of the pedal bracket due to the collision load.
Moreover, the collision detecting sensor may comprises a collision detecting lever projecting from the pedal bracket and rotated by engaging a vehicle body or a vehicle body part positioned closer to the vehicle cabin than the dash panel in accordance with a rearward movement of the pedal bracket due to the collision load, and a cam mechanism moving the clutch arm in a direction that an engagement of the engagement portions is removed by the rotation of the collision detecting lever.
In accordance with this structure, since the collision detecting sensor is mechanically composed of the collision detecting lever and the cam portion, a construction is simple and a cost thereof is advantageous.
The collision detecting lever may be formed such as to be supported by the arm shaft in a freely rotatable manner, to be projected above the pedal shaft and to be rotated by engaging with a lower surface portion of a dash upper panel projecting to the vehicle cabin above a dash lower panel in accordance with a rearward movement of the pedal bracket due to the collision load.
In accordance with this structure, since the pedal bracket slides rearward with respect to the dash upper panel at a time of a front collision of the vehicle, a collision detecting operation that the collision detecting lever is rotated by the engagement with the lower surface portion of the dash upper panel can be securely performed.
Further, the cam mechanism may be structured so as to be formed on end surfaces of each of boss portions of the clutch arm and the collision detecting lever, to be engaged with each other, and to move the clutch arm in a direction that an engagement of the engagement portion is removed in an axial direction of the arm shaft against a positioning force of the positioning member by the rotation of the collision detecting lever.
Still further, the pedal bracket is provided with a restricting portion disposed near the collision detecting lever projecting from the pedal bracket, preventing the collision detecting lever from rotating in a normal state, and allowing the collision detecting lever to rotate when a rotating force is over a predetermined load.
In accordance with this structure, since the restricting portion can restrict a rotation of the collision detecting lever at a time of assembling t

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