Title:
Oil drain pump assembly for internal combustion engines
United States Patent 3921759


Abstract:
An oil drain pump assembly for internal combustion engines includes an electric motor-powered pump body operatively mounted to an engine crankcase. A threaded adapter enables withdrawal of crankcase oil through standard crankcase drain plug openings. The pump assembly also includes a valve with a remote latching means that enables positive control of oil flow through the pump. A drain hose is provided to facilitate draining of the crankcase oil at a location remote from the crankcase drain plug.



Inventors:
BOTTUM CHARLES F
Application Number:
05/489705
Publication Date:
11/25/1975
Filing Date:
07/18/1974
Assignee:
WHITE; LYLE E.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
184/31, 417/423.1
International Classes:
F01M11/04; (IPC1-7): F01M11/04
Field of Search:
184/1.5,31,26 417
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3743053MOTORIZED CRANKCASE OIL DRAINAGE SYSTEM1973-07-03Kuklewicz
3650352REMOTELY OPERATED OIL DRAIN VALVE FOR MOTOR VEHICLES1972-03-21Schwary
2337700Rotary fan1943-12-28Wareham
1962623Apparatus for removing oil from the crank cases of engines1934-06-12Sweetland
1509023Crank-case construction1924-09-16Page



Primary Examiner:
Apley, Richard J.
Assistant Examiner:
Siskind, Marvin
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wells, St. John & Roberts
Claims:
What I claim is

1. Oil drain pump assembly for internal combustion engines having a crank case with a threaded gravity drain opening therein, comprising:

2. The oil drain pump assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein the housing has a bore formed therein intersecting the outlet and wherein the valve means includes a rod slidably mounted in the bore for movement between a closed position in which the rod projects into the outlet to close the outlet, and an open position in which the rod is retracted from the outlet to open the outlet.

3. The oil drain pump assembly as defined in claim 2 wherein the valve means includes spring means operatively connected to the rod for biasing the rod from the open position to the closed position.

4. The oil drain pump assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein the rod is additionally mounted for rotation about the bore axis and wherein the assembly further comprises latching means responsive to the longitudinal and rotational movement of the rod for (a) securing the rod in the open position when the rod is positioned longitudinally in the open position and rotated in one direction; and for (b) releasing the rod when the rod is rotated in the opposite direction at the open position.

5. The oil drain pump is defined in claim 2 wherein the inlet and outlet openings extend laterally from said central pump cavity.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates basically to fluid pumps and more particularly to such pump assemblies utilized for emptying crankcase oil from internal combustion engines.

Boats having inboard motors usually have oil drain outlets for draining the crankcase oil underneath the engine at inaccessible locations. Frequently, the oil can only be removed through the engine dipstick opening. Various mechanisms have been provided to accomplish this but some engine designs do not permit passage of a siphon tube to the crankcase oil through the dipstick tube.

Additionally, problems are caused by oil escaping into the bottom of the boat and, often, into the water surrounding the boat. It is therefore desirable to provide a pump assembly that may be carried at or adjacent the drain plug of the engine crankcase that is operable to pump the crankcase oil from the engine and into an appropriate remote receptacle without spillage.

U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,206,992 to Wood and 3,743,053 to Kualewicz both show adapters to replace an oil drain plug. These adapters utilize spring-closed check valves with a pump being mounted on the side of the engine above the crankcase. U.S. Pat. No. 2,635,550 describes a pump and electric motor in one assembly utilizing a tube to extend down the dipstick opening to pump oil from the engine crankcase. Other United States patents of interest are U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,216,360 to E. J. Sweetland; 1,962,623, also to Sweetland; 1,922,371 to Hammond et al.; 2,175,624 to E. L. Wood.

The pump comprising my invention is utilized to mount directly to an engine crankcase through use of an adapter complementary to the original crankcase drain plug. The pump is electrically operated by a motor and may be controlled by a remote switch to pump oil from the crankcase outwardly through a discharge tube. An easily accessible valve control is provided to enable positive control of oil flow through the pump. The valve control operates independently of the pump motor control and thereby provides a safety feature, preventing inadvertant or accidental removal of oil from the crankcase.

It is a first object of the present invention to provide a pump assembly that is very simple in construction and easily mountable to existing engine crankcases.

Another object is to provide mechanisms to enable positive control of oil flow other than by operation of a pump motor.

It is a further object to provide such a pump assembly that is compact in nature and is therefore easily mounted in restricted locations.

It is a yet further object to provide such a pump assembly that may be adapted to fit any known engine crankcase drain plug.

These and other objects and advantages will become apparent upon reading the following disclosure which, taken with the accompanying drawings, disclose a preferred and alternate form of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A preferred and alternate form of the present invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram illustrating operation of the present invention on an ordinary crankcase;

FIG. 2 is a pictorial view of a preferred form of the pump assembly;

FIG. 3 is a sectioned view taken along line 3--3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectioned view taken substantially along line 4--4 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view of a valve latch assembly;

FIG. 6 is a pictorial view of an alternate form of the pump assembly; and

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectioned view taken along line 7--7 in FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A pump assembly embodying a preferred form of the present invention is illustrated in the FIGS. 2-4, the alternate form being shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. The preferred form is designated by the reference numeral 10, and the alternate form by 10a. Pump assemblies 10, 10a are both utilized to remove crankcase oils 11 from engine crankcases such as that illustrated at 12 (FIG. 1). Crankcases 12 generally include a drain opening 13 located at the lowest elevational point on the crankcase to enable oil to gravitationally flow from the crankcase for changing purposes. Each pump assembly 10,10a is operatively mountable to drain opening 13 and includes a drain hose 14 extending therefrom to allow the crankcase oil to be pumped to a remote location.

Elements of pump assembly 10 of the preferred form are illustrated in substantially more detail by FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. Pump assembly 10 basically includes a pump assembly housing 15 having an internal annular central pump cavity 16. The pump cavity extends along a longitudinal axis of the housing 15 and openly communicates with an axial inlet 17. The central axis is designated at x-x in FIG. 3.

A threaded adapter 20 is mounted within inlet 17 having an aperture 19 therein coaxial with inlet 17 and communicating with the pump cavity 16. An outlet 18 (FIG. 4) extends laterally tangentially from the cavity 16 along an axis perpendicular to the central housing axis x--x.

Adapter 20 includes a threaded bolt head section 21 that is complementary to the drain opening in crankcase 12. Adapter 20 is slidably engaged and sealed within a socket 19 formed in inlet 17 by a locking set screw 23 and an O-ring 22. Adapter 20 is removable from pump assembly housing 15 to facilitate ease in mounting the pump to the crankcase. Once adapter 20 is threadably engaged within drain opening 13, the pump may be slidably engaged over the O-ring, and set screw 23 tightened to secure the adapter in place.

A centrifugal pump body 26 is provided having radial impellers 27 thereon. Pump body 26 is axially located within the central pump cavity 16 and is rotatably carried on a drive shaft 30 of an electric motor 31. Drive shaft 30 of motor 31 is coaxial with the central assembly housing axis for rotating the pump body 26 about axis x--x within cavity 16. A seal 32 is provided between housing 15 and motor 31 to prevent escape of oil into the motor housing. Motor 31 is designed to rotate impellers 27 at sufficient velocity to centrifugally pump the crankcase oil from cavity 16 outwardly to outlet 18.

In order to prevent undesirable seepage of crankcase oil through drain hose 14, a manually-operable valve means 34 is provided. Valve means 34 is comprised of a rod 36 extending into the housing 15 within a complementary valve bore 35 that intersects outlet 18. Rod 36 has an outside cross-sectional diameter equal to or greater than the inside diameter of outlet passageway 18. Therefore when the rod 36 is moved to a closed position as indicated in FIG. 4, passage of oil is not permitted past the point of intersection of the rod and outlet.

Rod 36 is held in the closed position by means of a spring 38 mounted within a housing 41. Spring 38 is a compression-type spring and is mounted within housing 41 to abut a surface 42 within the housing and an abutment surface 43 on rod 36. Housing 41 is held remote from the assembly housing 15 by an elongated tube 37. The lengths of tube 37 and rod 36 may vary with access requirements and engine design. Further, it is conceivable that rod 36 may be constructed of flexible material to enable bends along the length of tube 37.

A latching means 40 is provided to permit selective positioning of valve 34 in the open or closed position. It is comprised of a lever 44 mounted to rod 36 and extending radially therefrom for sliding axial and rotational movement within an L-shaped slot 45. The lever 44 is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 at a position within slot 45 where the valve is in a closed condition projecting into the outlet 18. To latch the valve in an open condition, lever 44 is moved to a cross portion 46 (FIG. 5) of slot 45 as shown by dashed lines in FIG. 4. In this position, the lever is rotated in a first direction into cross portion 46. Cross portion 46 prevents movement of the rod along its axis toward the closed position as urged by spring 38. To unlatch the rod and allow it to return to the closed position, the user rotates lever 44 back into an axial portion 47 of slot 45 allowing spring 38 to move the rod to the closed position.

Valve means 34 and latching means 40 provide positive control of oil flow, a safety feature that prevents draining of the crankcase oil by unintentional operation of motor 31. If the valve means 34 is in a closed position, even operation of motor 31 will not be sufficient to cause oil to flow past valve means 34 and out tube 14.

To drain crankcase 12, the user must first move the valve to an open position to allow escape of the crankcase oil into drain hose 14. Once the valve is opened, a switch 48 may be operated to supply power from a source 47 to the motor 31. Pump impellers 27 then rotate to centrifugally force the crankcase oil along drain hose 14 and outward into an appropriate container 49 at some remote location. When the oil has been drained, switch 48 is deactuated and valve 34 is moved to the closed position, sealing the central pump cavity 16 from drain hose 14.

The alternate pump form 10a (FIGS. 6 & 7) employs a somewhat different arrangement of elements to provide a variation in mounting adaptability and operating characteristics relative to the preferred form.

Pump 10a includes a pump housing 115 having an inner pump cavity 116 defined by an axial wall 117 continuous about a central longitudinal pump axis y--y. A lateral inlet opening 118 extends through housing 115 to openly communicate with cavity 116. A lateral outlet 120, extends outward from open communication with cavity 116. A pump body 119 is located within cavity 116 for rotation therein to receive crank case oil through inlet 118 and force it out through outlet 120 and a drain tube 150 mounted thereto (FIG. 6). Pump body 121 will be discussed in more detail below.

The lateral orientation of inlet 118 and outlet 120 enables use of a conventional adapter known as a "banjo" fitting as shown in FIG. 6 at 121. Such banjo fittings replace standard crankcase drainplugs (not shown) and enable a hose such as that shown at 122 to be mounted thereon. Hose 122 may be of any desired length to allow selective positioning of pump 10a at any desired location remote from crankcase drain opening 13. (FIG. 1). Hose 122 extends from fitting 121 to inlet opening 118 of pump 10a.

Pump body 119 is comprised of a plurality of radial, flexible impeller vanes 125 mounted within cavity 116 for rotation about axis y--y. The impeller vanes 125 are joined to a circular driving drum 124 mounted coaxially with axis y--y. The impeller vanes 125 extend radially outward from drum 124 to ends 126 that slidably engage axial cavity wall 117. A motor 127 (similar to motor 31 of the preferred form) is operatively connected to impeller vanes 125 through the connecting drum 124. Motor 127 operates to rotate impeller vanes 125 about axis y--y in the direction indicated by the arrow in FIG. 7.

Pump cavity 116 is cylindrical about axis y--y except for a cam surface 130 provided along axial cavity wall 117 between inlet 118 and outlet 120. Surface 130 is located at the radius from axis y--y that is somewhat less than a radius to the remaining portion of axial wall 117. Cam surface 130 causes the rotating impeller vanes 125 to flex as they rotate. Such flexion changes the volume between adjacent vanes as they pass by the inlet and outlet 118, 120.

For example, one vane 125a moving past inlet 118 is allowed to flex outwardly, increasing the volume between it and the next upstream vane 125b presently on cam surface 130. This creates a suction force, drawing crankcase oil through inlet 118 and into cavity 116. As the vanes continue to rotate within cavity 116, the same vane 125a again engages cam surface 130. This time, can surface 130 flexes vane 125a inwardly to reduce the volume between vane 125a and adjacent upstream vane 125b thereby forcing the oil held therebetween through outlet 120 and out drain tube 150. Surface 130 extends angularly about axis y--y a distance sufficient to enable engagement of two adjacent vanes thereon between inlet and outlet 118, 120.

A valve means 135 is provided for pump 10a that is substantially identical to valve means 34 in the preferred form. Valve means 135 is comprised of a rod 136 extending into housing 115 with a complementary valve bore 137 extending into housing 115 within a complementary valve bore 137 that intersects outlet 120. Rod 136, like rod 36, has an outside cross-sectional diameter equal to or greater than the inside diameter of outlet 120. Thus, when rod 136 is moved to a closed position as shown in FIG. 7, passage of oil is not permitted past the point of intersection of rod 136 and outlet 120, even if pump 10a is inadvertently operated.

Rod 136 is held in the closed position by means of a spring 138 mounted within a housing 141. Spring 138 is a compression type spring and is mounted in housing 141 to abut a surface within the housing and an abutment surface on rod 136 identical to surfaces 42 and 43 shown in FIG. 4 of the preferred form. Housing 141 is held remote from the assembly housing 115 by an elongated tube 139. The length of tube 139 and rod 136 may vary with access requirements and engine design. Further, it is conceivable that rod 136 may be constructed of flexible material to enable bends along line of tube 139.

A latching means 140 (FIG. 6) is provided to permit selective positioning of valve 134 in an open or closed position. It is comprised of a lever 144 mounted to rod 136 and extending radially therefrom for sliding axial and rotational movement within an L-shaped slot 145. The lever 144 is shown in FIG. 6 at a closed position with slot 145 where the valve is in a closed position projecting into outlet 120. To latch the valve in an open condition, lever 144 is moved to a cross portion 146 of slot 145. In this position, the lever is rotated in a first direction into cross portion 146. Cross portion 146 prevents movement of the rod along its axis toward the closed position as urged by spring 138. To unlatch the rod and allow it to return to a closed position, the user rotates lever 144 back to an axial portion 147 of slot 145, allowing spring 138 to move the rod to the closed position.

Valve means 134 and latching means 140 provide a positive control of oil flow, a safety feature that prevents draining of the crankcase oil by unintentional operation of the motor 131. If the valve means 134 is in a closed position, even operation of motor 127 will not be sufficient to cause oil to flow past valve means 135 and out a flexible drain tube 150 (FIG. 6) attached to the outlet 120.

Operation of the pump 10a is substantially identical to operation of the preferred form 10 described above. In order to drain the crankcase, the user first moves valve 135 to an open position to allow escape of crankcase oil into the drain tube 150. Once valve 135 is open, a switch similar to that shown at 48 (FIG. 1) may be operated to supply power from the source, such as that shown at 47, to motor 127. The vanes 125 then rotate to force crankcase oil through drain hose 150 and outward into an appropriate container, similar to that shown at 49, at some remote location. When the oil has been drained, the switch is deactuated and valve means 135 is moved to the closed position, sealing the central pump cavity 116 from drain hose 150.

It may have become evident from the above description and attached drawings that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the intended scope of this invention. Therefore only the following claims are to be taken as definitions of my invention.