United States Patent 3776019

Two pairs of complementary semi-circular elements are arranged one above the other with the lower members stationary and the upper members movable vertically downwardly by any suitable type of press to straighten deformed tubular front axle beams, for example, those used on present types of Volkswagens.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
B21D1/14; B21K21/16; (IPC1-7): B21J11/00
Field of Search:
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US Patent References:
3271985Apparatus and method for straightening extruded bar stock1966-09-13Sokoloff et al.
3220240Rail curving machine1965-11-30Selvaggio
2845826Riveting machine for simultaneously driving rivets in opposite sides of car or other like constructions1958-08-05Harcourt
2180157Method and apparatus for straightening rails1939-11-14Loftus

Primary Examiner:
Lanham, Charles W.
Assistant Examiner:
Keenan M. J.
I claim

1. A press for restoring the circular cross sectional shape of a tubular member comprising a frame including a pair of spaced parallel uprights connected by a pair of vertically spaced upper and lower stationary supports, a semi-cylindrical upwardly opening press member supported on said lower support, a carriage, wheels journalled on said carriage and adapted to roll along the top of said upper support mounting said carriage on said upper support for movement between said uprights, a jack secured to said carriage, a semi-cylindrical downwardly opening press member, means supporting for sliding movement said downwardly opening press member on said jack for fine alignment with said upwardly opening press member, said carriage permitting rough alignment of said press members, said jack being adapted to exert a downward pressing force on said downwardly opening press member against said upwardly opening press member, said means supporting including a plate with upwardly extending and inturned flanges slidably mounted on the base of the jack, said downwardly opening press member being secured to the bottom of said plate.


Volkswagen automobiles employ twin tubular axle beams which, of course, must be straight and of tubular form. When a vehicle of this type is involved in an accident and the axle beams are bent, it is a common practice to discard them and install new ones.


A supporting frame comprising spaced vertical standards is provided intermediate the height of the standards with a transverse stationary frame member welded or otherwise secured to the standards. Transversely of the standards at the tops thereof is arranged a connecting beam fixed to the standards and along which a pair of carriages is adapted to move on rollers engaging the top of the beam. Each of these carriages is provided with means for supporting a jack of any desired type, for example, conventional hydraulic jacks. The base of each jack slidably engages a cross member beneath which is arranged a downwardly opening semi-cylindrical press member. On the lower transverse member of the frame is arranged a pair of upwardly opening semi-cylindrical press members which are complementary to the upper press members when the upper and lower press members engage each other during the operation of the device. The lower press members are slidable along the lower transverse member of the frame to be aligned with the respective jacks and with the upper press members. When an axle is bent, it is placed with the tubular members thereof in the lower press member, whereupon hydraulic fluid is admitted to the jacks to lower the upper press members into engagement with the deformed tubular members of the axle to reshape the latter to true circular cross section.


FIG. 1 is a side elevation of the apparatus;

FIG. 2 is an end elevation thereof;

FIG. 3 is a section on line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a similar view on line 4--4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary section on line 5--5 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view on line 6--6 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a vertical section on line 7--7 of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a detail section showing the press elements at the start of the straightening operation.


Referring to FIGS. 1 to 4, inclusive, the numeral 10 designates the frame of the apparatus comprising vertical standards 12, which may be of box section as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 and provided at the bottom thereof with bases 14 to support the frame and impart stability thereto.

Below the tops of the standards is arranged a transverse lower stationary frame member 16 which may be made up of a pair of frame elements 18 which also may be formed of box section as shown in FIG. 6. A space 20 is provided between the elements 18 for a purpose to be described.

As it will become apparent, preferably two pairs of press elements are employed, the lower pair being indicated by the numeral 22. These press elements are upwardly opening semicylindrical elements welded as at 24 to a supporting member 26 arranged transversely of the frame unit 16. Intermediate its ends the support 26 is provided with a depending pin 28 slidable in the space 20 as the support 26 is moved along the frame unit 16 to any desired position.

An upper transverse stationary frame unit 30 is welded or otherwise secured at its ends to the upper ends of the standards 12 and also preferably comprises a pair of frame elements of box-section 32 (FIG. 6) spaced apart as at 34. A pair of carriages 36 is adapted to be supported by the upper frame unit 30. Each carriage is provided with downwardly and inwardly turned flanges 38 adapted to slidably receive a plate 40 carried by the piston 42 of a hydraulic jack 44 of conventional type. Centrally of its length, each carriage 36 carries rigid therewith an upstanding plate 46 extending through the space 34 and carrying at its upper end a pair of axles 48 provided with wheels 50 adapted to roll on the upper surfaces of the frame elements 32 to roughly align the press elements.

The bottom of the jack 44 is provided with a base 52 as shown in FIG. 6. A plate 54 is provided with upwardly extending and inturned flanges 56 adapted to slidably receive the base 52 to finely align the press elements. The plate 54 of each press unit has welded thereto as at 58 a pair of downwardly opening semi-cylindrical press elements 60 which are complementary to the press elements 22 when the pressing operation has been completed, as described below. In FIG. 7 the press elements are shown as having arranged therebetween a cylindrical axle element 62 which has been distorted from its circular cross-sectional shape and which it is desired to straighten.


When the twin axle elements of a vehicle of the character described have been distorted, for example, from an accident, so that they become out of round, as shown in FIG. 8, the axle elements, connected to each other by means forming a part thereof and not illustrated in the drawings, are placed in position in the lower press elements 22, one such axle element being shown in FIG. 8. The support 26 for each pair of lower press elements 22 is moved along the stationary frame unit 16 to proper position beneath a distorted portion of the axles, and the carriage 36 is moved along the upper frame unit 30 to align the corresponding pair of upper press elements with the lower press elements. This adjustment is made as to both sets of press elements as will be obvious.

Having placed the axle elements in position, hydraulic pressure will be admitted to the cylinder 44 through conventional means (not shown) and since the upper plate 40 of each jack will be stationary, the cylinders 44 will move downwardly and the hydraulic pressure in each jack will be transmitted through the associated plate 52 to the upper press elements 60 to force these elements downwardly until the edges of complementary press elements contact with each other. The portions of the axle elements being pressed will now be perfectly circular. If necessary, the press elements may be moved to different positions longitudinally of the frame units 16 and 30 to press and reshape other portions of the axle elements. Thus, such elements may be restored to their normal cylindrical shapes to be re-installed in the vehicle at much lower cost than is involved in the present procedure of discarding damaged axles and purchasing new axles.

If after reshaping the axle elements, these elements are not perfectly linear, upper and lower press elements of either set may be off-set from each other so that pressure may be applied to distorted portions of the axle elements to straighten them from end to end. If such straightening operation distorts any portion of either axle element from its normal circular cross sectional shape, the reshaping of such portions of the axle elements into circular form may be repeated.

It will be apparent that the apparatus may be used with great facility and it requires only a few minutes to straighten axle elements of the type referred to. It also will be apparent that the use of the apparatus is not limited to axles of circular cross sections but may be employed for restoring the normal circular cross-sectional shape of any tubular elements.

From the foregoing it will now be seen that there is herein provided an improved front axle press which accomplishes all of the objects of this invention and others, including many advantages of great practical utility and commercial importance.

As various embodiments may be made of this inventive concept, and as many modificatons may be made in the embodiment hereinbefore shown and described, it is to be understood that all matter herein is to be interpreted merely as illustrative, and not in a limiting sense.