Title:
Thru-axle differential for scale model vehicles
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A thru-axle differential box for a six-wheel drive scale model vehicle includes an input pinion, a ring gear coupled to the input pinion, at least one axle output coupled to the ring gear, and an output pinion coupled to the ring gear.



Inventors:
Quinn, Joel (South Jordan, UT, US)
Newby, George E. (Ririe, ID, US)
Application Number:
11/637998
Publication Date:
08/02/2007
Filing Date:
12/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63H30/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
YOUNG, SCOTT E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISHMAN STEWART PLLC (BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A radio controlled scale-model vehicle, comprising: a six-wheel drive transmission drive train.

2. The scale model of claim 1, wherein said six-wheel drive transmission drive train includes a front differential, a rear differential, and a thru-differential.

3. The scale model of claim 2, wherein said thru-differential is coupled to said rear differential.

4. A method, comprising: coupling a thru-differential to a radio-controlled prime mover; and coupling said thru differential to a rear differential.

5. A through differential for use with a scale model vehicle comprising: an input pinion; a ring gear coupled to said input pinion; at least one axle output coupled to said ring gear; and an output pinion coupled to said ring gear.

6. A method of converting an existing scale model 4×4 vehicle having a first and a second end differential to a 6×6 vehicle comprising: coupling a thru-differential input to a prime mover of said scale model 4×4; coupling an axle to said thru-differential; and coupling an output of said thru-differential to said first end differential.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein said first end differential is disposed at a rear of said scale model 4×4 vehicle.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein said first end differential is disposed at a front of said scale model 4×4 vehicle.

9. The method of claim 6, further comprising elongating a frame of said scale model 4×4 vehicle.

Description:

This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No 60/749,872 filed Dec. 13, 2005 titled “Thru-Axle Differential for Scale Model Vehicles.” The provisional application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to scale model vehicles. In particular, the present disclosure relates to a thru-axle differential box for a six-wheel drive scale model vehicle and to scale model vehicles making use of the thru-axle differential.

BACKGROUND

Scale model vehicles are known that have 4×4 (four wheel drive) drive trains. For example, FIGS. 1a and 1b illustrate scale model vehicle, such as a scale mode 4×4 truck. The 4×4 scale model truck makes use of a standard transmission, as shown in FIG. 3a. As shown in FIG. 3a, the transmission (310) receives a rotational input from a prime mover, such as the engine. The transmission (310) transmits the rotational power from the engine to the rear differential (330) and front differential (370) thru the front drive shaft (360) and the rear drive shaft (350). Presently, higher order drive trains, such as 6×6 or greater are not currently available.

SUMMARY

In one of many possible embodiments, an apparatus is provided that includes a six-wheel drive transmission drive train. According to one exemplary embodiment discussed herein, the six-wheel drive transmission drive train includes a front differential, a rear differential, and a thru differential.

A method is also provided herein that includes coupling a thru differential to a radio-controlled prime mover; and coupling said thru differential to a rear differential.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate various embodiments of the present system and method and are a part of the specification. The illustrated embodiments are merely examples of the present system and method and do not limit the scope of the disclosure.

FIG. 1a shows a side view of existing prior art a 4×4 (four wheel drive) truck.

FIG. 1b shows a perspective view of existing prior art a 4×4 truck

FIG. 2a is a side view of the of a scale model vehicle having a 6×6 (six wheel drive) drive train and a thru differential according to one exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 2b is a perspective view the scale model vehicle shown in FIG. 2a.

FIG. 3a shows a perspective view of a prior art 4×4 drive train configuration.

FIG. 3b illustrates a perspective view of a 6×6 having a thru differential and drive shaft according to one exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 4a shows the thru differential and the exterior parts according to one exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 4b shows a cross section view of the thru differential of FIG. 4a.

FIG. 4c shows an exploded view of the thru differential similar to the thru differential show in FIG. 4b.

FIG. 5a shows a 6×6 scale model vehicle climbing over a rock obstacle.

FIG. 5b shows a 6×6 scale model vehicle jumping and in the air.

Throughout the drawings, identical reference numbers designate similar, but not necessarily identical, elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A pass-through differential is provided herein for use in scale model vehicles. Scale model vehicles are provided herein that include a pass-through differential. For example, according to one exemplary embodiment, a 6×6 scale mode vehicle is disclosed that makes use of a pass through differential.

As used herein, the term “differential” shall be understood to mean a drive train component configured to receive a rotational input from a drive line, modify the ratio of the input rotation, and transmit the input rotation to one or more axles. Additionally, the term “differential” is meant to include any components, and/or sub-components of the drive train component including, but in no way limited to, spider gears that allow the one or more axles to rotate at differing velocities.

Additionally, as used herein, the term “transmission drive train” is meant to be understood as including the vehicle transmission, driveline, and any number of through or termination differentials. The term “transmission” is meant to be understood herein as referring to any drive train component configured to initially receive rotational energy from a prime mover and convert the rotational energy to a driveline of the transmission drive train.

According to one exemplary embodiment, the 6×6 scale model vehicle is much more stable climbing and ascending hills due to its longer wheel base and the added traction of two more tires. Such a vehicle may be more stable in the corners and offer added traction for acceleration and braking while cornering. The exemplary scale model vehicle is easier to control in the air while jumping due to its longer wheelbase and additional gyroscopic effect of having two additional wheels and tires. For example, a 6×6 scale model vehicle will climb over objects such as rocks, mud, sand, snow and others much better than the 4×4 because of the added traction and stability of having six wheels.

In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present method and apparatus. It will be apparent, however, to one skilled in the art that the present method and apparatus may be practiced without these specific details. Reference in the specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment. The appearance of the phrase “in one embodiment” in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment.

FIGS. 2a and 2b illustrate a scale model vehicle having six-wheel drive (6×6). In particular, as will be discussed in more detail below, the scale model vehicle includes a thru-differential. In particular, as will be discussed in more detail below, the thru-differential allows a standard 4×4 scale model vehicle to be converted into a higher order drive train transmission configuration, such as a 6×6 (six wheel drive) transmission drive train.

In particular, as shown in FIG. 3a, a standard configuration includes a rear differential (330). As shown in FIG. 3b, a thru differential (320) may be added, with associated hardware, between the transmission (310) and the rear differential to form a 6×6 (six wheel drive) transmission drive train. The 6×6 may then be incorporated with wheels and other parts to form a 6×6 scale model vehicle, as shown in FIGS. 2a and 2b. According to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 2a and 2b, the thru-differential (320) would be coupled to the forward pair of rear wheels while the rear differential (330) would be coupled the rearward paid of rear wheels.

FIG. 4a shows the thru differential (320) and the exterior parts according to one exemplary embodiment. As shown in FIG. 4a, the thru-differential (320) includes an input coupling (400), output coupling (410), axle drive coupling (420) and differential case (430). The input coupling (400) receives a rotational input from a prime mover, such as engine (310; FIG. 3b). The prime mover may be any suitable type, including without limitation, an internal combustion type engine as shown, a battery or electric motor, or any other type of prime mover suitable for use with scale model vehicles.

FIG. 4b shows a cross sectional view of the thru differential (320). In particular, as show in FIG. 4b, the thru-differential further illustrates the input coupling (400), the output coupling (410), the axle drive coupling (420), and the differential case (430). FIG. 4c further illustrates pinion shaft bearings (440 &450), a pinion drive input gear (490), a pinion output gear (460), and a common ring gear (470). The common ring gear (470) is used by both the pinion input gear (490) and the pinion output gear (460). FIG. 4b also illustrates a differential housing (480).

The input coupling (400) is located on a common shaft with the pinion input gear (490) such that as the input coupling (400) is driven, the pinion input gear (490) is driven as well. The pinion input gear (490) is coupled to the common ring gear (470). Thus, as the pinion input gear (490) is driven, the pinion input gear (490) drives the common ring gear (470). The common ring gear (470) is on a common shaft with the axle drive couplings (420), such that as the common ring gear (470) rotates, the axle drive couplings (420) also rotate. If the axle drive couplings (420) are coupled to wheels, then those wheels are driven.

As the common ring gear (470) rotates, the common ring gear (470) also drives the output coupling (410) through the pinion output gear (460). The output coupling (410) may be coupled to a rear differential (330). The rear differential (330) would then drive wheels coupled thereto, as is known. Thus, the thru-differential (320) receives an input from a prime mover. The thru-differential transmits the input to drive couplings and an output coupling to thereby provide rotational force for four or more wheels.

The 6-wheel drive radio controlled truck has shown to be superior in almost all running conditions in both off road and on road environments. The thru differential (320) is what makes this step up from a 4-wheel drive to a 6-wheel drive economical, reliable and simple.

FIG. 6 is a flowchart illustrating a method of installing a thru-differential. For example, according to one exemplary method, the thru-differential may be installed on a standard scale model vehicle, to thereby increase the number of driven wheels of the scale model vehicle. The method begins by removing screws from the front bumper (step 1). The step shown graphically in the figure labeled (step 1). Table 1 provides a numerical listing of suitable parts according to one exemplary embodiment. The parts and dimensions are for clarity only. Those of skill in the art will appreciate that any suitable number and types of parts may be used as desired. For ease of reference, each step will be referenced by its associated drawing, which is labeled accordingly.

TABLE 1
6 × 6 Parts
PARTS LIST
Nov. 11, 2005
ITEM #PART #QT'YDESCRIPTIONMATERIAL
1.?3 MM LOCKNUTSTEEL
2.?3 MM × 12 SOCKET HEAD SCREWSTEEL
3.?3 MM × 20 SOCKET HEAD SCREWSTEEL
4.?3 MM × 32 SOCKET HEAD SCREWSTEEL
525110?LONG HINGE PINSTEEL
625110?SNORT HINGE PINSTEEL
7.?¼″-20 × ¾″ PAN HEAD PHILLIPS SCREWSTEEL
8.?¼″-20 × ¾″ FLAT HEAD PHILLIPS SCREWSTEEL
9.?1¼″ FLAT WASHERSTEEL
10.?1″ FLAT WASHERSTEEL
11TSR00211REAR BODY SUPPORTALUMINUM
12TSR00342BODY SUPPORT RODALUMINUM
13.?3 MM × 10 FLAT HEAD SOCKET SCREWSTEEL
14TSR00411CAB TILT SUPPORT PLATEALUMINUM
15TSR00161CAB TILT FRONT SUPPORTALUMINUM
16TSR00494SUSPENSION BRACKETALUMINUM
17TSR00551TIE ROD ANCHORALUMINUM
18TSR00542REAR FRAME SPACERALUMINUM
19TSR00511UPPER FRAME RAIL (R.H.)ALUMINUM
20TSR00521UPPER FRAME RAIL (L.H.)ALUMINUM
21.?3 MM × 18 SOCKET HEAD SCREWSTEEL
22.?THRU DIFFERENTIAL.
23TSR0057?DRIVESHAFTSTEEL
24251062DIFFERENTIAL SHIMS (EXISTING).
25.?3 MM × 14 SOCKET HEAD SCREWSSTEEL
26.?3 MM × 8 FLATHEAD SOCKET SCREWSTEEL
27251202TIE RODSSTEEL
25121
28TSR0050?REAR FRAME PLATEALUMINUM
29251072UPPER SUSPENSION ARM.
30.2LOWER SUSPENSION ARM.
31251142AXLESTEEL
32250584SHOCKS.
33251122HUB CARRIERSTEEL
34251361SHOCK TOWER.
35250701SHOCK MOUNTING HARDWARE KIT(½)STEEL
36251102SHORT(SHORTENED) HINGE PINSTEEL
37251102LONG HINGE PINSTEEL
38.?3 MM × 14 PAN HEAD PHILLIPSSTEEL
39251062REAR DIFFERENTIAL SHIMS.
40.1REAR DIFFERENTIAL(EXISTING).
41TSR00561DECK PLATE(FLAT BED)ALUMINUM
422521825 MM LOCKNUTSTEEL
43252052BODY POST MOUNTING SCREWSTEEL
44251182WHEEL HEX.
45251172HEX PIN.
46251712WHEEL.
47251702TIRE W/FOAM.
482522025 MM WASHERSTEEL
4922081BODY CLIPSTEEL
50.1BODY-CLASSIC(TRUCK).
51.1BUMPERALUMINUM

The method continues by installing step items (step 2). The body posts are then removed (step 3). Thereafter, the vehicle is turned over and two holes are drilled in plastic assemble cab mount support (step 4). The cab mount support is then assembled (step 5)

Thereafter, the rear shock tower and differential and upper suspension brackets are removed. (step 6). Step 7 then illustrates assembly of frames and suspension brackets (step 7). The thru-differential and lower plate are installed (step 8). The center shock tower is installed (step 9). The rear differential direction is then reversed (step 10). Step 11 is to install rear differential and driveshaft (step 11). The following step is to assemble rear shock tower and suspension parts (step 12). Thereafter, front and rear body supports are installed (step 13). The next step is to install deck plate mounting posts (step 14), followed by installation of the deck plate (step 15). Finally, the tires and wheels may be installed (step 16).

The preceding description has been presented only to illustrate and describe exemplary embodiments. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure to any precise form disclosed. Many modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. It is intended that the scope of the disclosure be defined by the following claims.