Title:
MOTORCYCLE CRANKCASE VENTILATION RESERVOIR AND DISSIPATOR
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A motorcycle engine crankcase ventilation reservoir that includes a hollow container, an air permeable filter, and a conduit. The filter is housed within the container. The conduit is secured to the container and releasably coupled to a crankcase vent of a motorcycle engine. Blow-by gases that are routed out of the engine's crankcase through the crankcase vent are directed through the reservoir, wherein at least a portion of any oil or other liquid contaminants routed out of the crankcase along with the blow-by gases are collected and retained within the reservoir. The remaining blow-by gases are directed to the ambient air surrounding the reservoir.



Inventors:
Brancato, David M. (Gray, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/932079
Publication Date:
03/27/2008
Filing Date:
10/31/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F01M13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCMAHON, MARGUERITE J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GARDNER GROFF & GREENWALD, PC (Marietta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A motorcycle engine crankcase ventilation reservoir comprising: a hollow container; an air permeable filter, the filter being housed within the container; and a conduit secured to the container and releasably coupled to a crankcase vent of a motorcycle engine; wherein blow-by gases that are routed out of the engine's crankcase through the crankcase vent are directed through the reservoir, wherein at least a portion of any oil or other liquid contaminants routed out of the crankcase along with the blow-by gases are collected and retained within the reservoir, and wherein the remaining blow-by gases are directed to the ambient air surrounding the reservoir.

2. The reservoir of claim 1, wherein the container is formed from copper.

3. The reservoir of claim 1, wherein the container is formed from at least one material selected from the group consisting of copper, tin, brass, bronze, titanium, stainless steel, and/or aluminum.

4. The reservoir of claim 1, wherein the filter is formed from woven textiles.

5. The reservoir of claim 4, wherein the filter is formed from at least one material selected from the group consisting of copper, steel, aluminum, polymers, fiberglass, plant fiber, animal fiber, and/or mineral fiber.

6. The reservoir of claim 1, wherein the conduit is bolted to the crankcase vent.

7. The reservoir of claim 1, wherein hollow tubing is used to couple the conduit to the crankcase vent.

8. In a motorcycle engine used to power a motorcycle having at least one crankcase vent to remove blow-by gases from the crankcase, the improvement comprising: at least one reservoir coupled to the at least one crankcase vent of the engine, the reservoir including: a hollow container; and an air permeable dissipater housed within the container; wherein blow-by gases that are routed out of the engine's crankcase through the crankcase vent are directed through the reservoir, wherein oil or other liquid contaminants routed out of the crankcase along with the blow-by gases are collected and retained within the reservoir, and wherein the remaining blow-by gases are directed to the ambient air surrounding the reservoir.

9. The improvement of claim 8, wherein the motorcycle engine is a V-Twin style motorcycle engine.

10. The improvement of claim 8, wherein the at least one reservoir comprises two reservoirs.

11. The improvement of claim 8, wherein the container is formed from copper.

12. The improvement of claim 8, wherein the dissipater is formed from woven textiles.

13. A kit for retrofitting a V-Twin style motorcycle engine, the kit comprising: at least one container, each at least one container including an air permeable dissipater housed within the container; and at least one section of tubing for establishing a connection between the at least one container and a crankcase vent of the V-Twin style motorcycle engine.

14. The kit of claim 13, further comprising two containers and two sections of tubing.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a Continuation-in-Part of non-provisional application Ser. No. 10/885,199, entitled RESERVOIR/DISSIPATER, filed on Jul. 6, 2004, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to motorcycles, and more particularly, to a reservoir and dissipater for a motorcycle's crankcase ventilation system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Endeavor

The field of endeavor is the motorcycle manufacturing industry, more specifically, the manufacture of Harley Davidson motorcycles and other American or foreign made V-Twin motorcycles, addressing specific problems involved in the prior art and current state of technology pursuant to internal combustion engine positive crankcase ventilation.

2. Prior Art

On many V-Twin style motorcycle motors, crankcase ventilation is provided by routing blow-by gasses directly to the air cleaner and air cleaner housing. In so doing, a problem is created whereas motor oil vapor carried by blow-by gasses is introduced into and fouls the air cleaner, the carburetor, the intake valves, and the sparking plugs. Pools of liquid motor oil then collect at the bottom of the air cleaner housing, which eventually leak out and spill onto the motorcycle. Aftermarket manufacturers have invented devices to address this problem, but not all prevent liquid motor oil from spilling out onto the motorcycle. One example illustrated below actually does prevent oil spilling, but is expensive and rather complex.

Particularly, consider U.S. Pat. No. 6,374,815 to Ness (2002), and U.S. Pat. No. 5,937,816 to Wincewicz (1999). These two designs provide for the customization aftermarket but still route blow-by gasses to the air cleaner housing, and the problem identified continues. Consider U.S. Pat. No. 5,233,967 to Peller (1993) and U.S. patent D488104 to Triebold (2004). The Peller design provides a way to reroute blow-by gasses, but only indirectly. The gasses still connect to the air cleaner housing and no oil-fouling problem is solved. Alternatively, the gasses can be routed to a separate filter/housing such as U.S. patent D426494 to Wimer (2000). However, decorative filter/housing designs of this kind eventually will saturate with oil vapor and leak liquid oil. The design by Triebold is purely decorative, but does reroute blow-by gasses away from the air cleaner housing. Once again, however, one must decide either to route the gasses to a separate, remotely located filter/housing and endure the inevitable leak, or route the gasses directly to the intake manifold (requiring modifications to the intake manifold itself) where oil vapor will foul the intake valves and sparking plugs. Finally, consider U.S. Pat. No. 6,167,849 to Wilson (2001). This design does indeed prevent liquid oil from leaking, but is not used with, or intended to be used with the air cleaner housing. Rather, it is used with the motorcycle transmission and lower crankcase. As mentioned earlier, this design is complex, requiring special mounting brackets, internal baffles, a separate external filter sub-assembly, removable threaded covers, 90° connectors, and more. All this engineering makes the Wilson design more expensive to make and costly to purchase, also, it is impractical to use when crankcase vents are located at the cylinder head in proximity to the air cleaner housing.

OBJECTIVES

The first objective of the reservoir/dissipater is to provide a solution to the problem of oil fouled air cleaner and spilled liquid motor oil mentioned above. Other objectives are: to be very inexpensive to make, be small and lightweight, posses a mechanical design of elegant simplicity, and to require no special way of attachment to the motorcycle. Another objective is to provide a discrete device, which does away with the clutter of long, unsightly lengths of rubber connecting hoses that terminate at remotely located filter assemblies.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a reservoir according to an example embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the reservoir of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the reservoir of FIG. 2 taken at section lines A-A.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a dissipater that is used in conjunction with the reservoir of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a reservoir according to another example embodiment of the present invention, showing a test cap.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a reservoir according to another example embodiment of the present invention, showing an end cap.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of still another example embodiment of a reservoir according to the present invention.

FIG. 8a is a perspective view of another example embodiment of a reservoir according to the present invention.

FIG. 8b is a perspective view of a dissipater used in FIG. 8a.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of an alternative example embodiment depicting one of many possible geometric forms of the reservoir.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of another alternative example embodiment example depicting closure of the reservoir with a crimp.

FIG. 11 is a partially cut-out perspective view of the reservoir of FIG. 1, shown attached to a crankcase vent.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a motorcycle engine according to another example embodiment having a crankcase reservoir.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, the reservoir of the present invention is designed to permit positive crankcase ventilation while solving the problems of oil-fouled air cleaners and leaking liquid motor oil. The reservoir includes a hollow container, an air permeable filter, and a conduit. The filter is housed within the container. The conduit is secured to the container and releasably coupled to a crankcase vent of a motorcycle engine. Blow-by gases that are routed out of the engine's crankcase through the crankcase vent are directed through the reservoir, wherein at least a portion of any oil or other liquid contaminants routed out of the crankcase along with the blow-by gases are collected and retained within the reservoir. The remaining blow-by gases are directed to the ambient air surrounding the reservoir. The reservoir thus prevents oil from being deposited onto the motorcycle, the engine, the user, or from contaminating the air filter.

In another aspect, the present invention relates to an improvement to a motorcycle engine having at least one crankcase vent to remove blow-by gases from the crankcase. The improvement includes at least one reservoir coupled to the at least one crankcase vent of the engine. The at least one reservoir includes a hollow container and an air permeable dissipater housed within the container.

In still another aspect, the present invention relates to a kit for retrofitting a V-Twin style motorcycle engine. The kit includes at least one container having an air permeable dissipater housed within the container and at least one section of tubing for establishing a connection between the container and a crankcase vent of the V-Twin style motorcycle engine.

These and other aspects, features and advantages of the invention will be understood with reference to the drawing figures and detailed description herein, and will be realized by means of the various elements and combinations particularly pointed out in the appended claims. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following brief description of the drawings and detailed description of the invention are exemplary and explanatory of preferred embodiments of the invention, and are not restrictive of the invention, as claimed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

Materials.

In preferred example embodiments of the present invention, as seen in FIG. 1, the reservoir 14 is comprised of copper tubing, which is commercially manufactured in a variety of standard sizes. The reservoir 14 includes an end cap 16 that encloses one end of the tubing. The cap 16 is preferably formed from copper stock, such as a copper plumbing fixture that is typically manufactured in the same variety of nominal sizes to precisely fit standard copper tubing. The reservoir 14 also includes a conduit 15 that is preferably formed from copper tubing as well. In commercial embodiments, the conduit 15 is formed from ⅜ inch outside diameter copper tubing. Additionally, the reservoir 14 includes a filter or dissipater 17, which is constructed from a woven textile, such as a Scotch-Brite™ green, nylon fiber scouring pad manufactured by 3M™, St. Paul, Minn. The construction of the reservoir 14, cap 16, and dissipater 17 using alternative materials is discussed below.

Design.

FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the reservoir/dissipater described as follows: Reservoir 14 is about 1 inch in diameter, cut to a length of about 2½ inches and is closed on one end by cap 16 of matching nominal size. Conduit 15 is cut to a length of about 2½ inches and placed longitudinally into the open end of reservoir 14 to a depth of about 1¼ inches, in full and direct contact with the inside wall of reservoir 14. This aspect of the preferred embodiment is shown in FIG. 3. Dissipater 17 is formed from an approximately ⅜ inch thick strip of woven textile that is about one inch wide and about 4½ inches long, and rolled up along its entire length to become roughly cylindrical in shape (see FIG. 4). In preferred example embodiments, the assembly of reservoir 14, cap 16, conduit 15, and dissipater 17 comprise the entire assembly of the reservoir/dissipater. In alternative embodiments, more or less components can be used to complete the same.

Method.

Reservoir 14, conduit 15, and cap 16, are assembled into the form and configuration shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, and are soldered, or otherwise coupled, together. Afterwards, dissipater 17 is simply rolled up and inserted into the open end of, and just below the rim of reservoir 14. Dissipater 17 conforms to the interior contours of reservoir 14 and there is sufficient interference in this fit to retain the dissipater 17 in place. The reservoir can be attached to the motorcycle by coupling the exposed, open end of conduit 15 to the cylinder head crankcase vent 20. Examples of couplings include bolts, nuts, clips, hooks, straps, welds, solders, etc. A hose 22 of sufficient length to surround the connection between the reservoir and at least one of the motorcycle's crankcase vents is used to insulate the connections. A cut-away section of the hose 22 is shown in FIG. 11 where the crankcase vent 20 extends downward to meet the conduit 15 within the hose. The hose 22 is securely fixed in place by two small band clamps 21, or other conventional fasteners for coupling the same, such as glue or straps. On the motorcycle, the reservoir/dissipater is situated vertically along its longitudinal axis below the cylinder head crankcase vent 20, as shown in FIG. 11.

Use and Operation.

The reservoir/dissipater is typically installed in a pair, one individual reservoir/dissipater for each cylinder of the motorcycle's engine. It can also be used singly provided it is connected to both cylinders crankcase vents. However, use in pairs is the preferred embodiment. See FIG. 12 for the configuration typical for each of both cylinders. The reservoir/dissipater is utterly passive and requires only infrequent attention. Periodically, a user can remove the reservoir/dissipater, and empty out the liquid oil collected within. Alternatively, the reservoir can include a drain, which allows a user to drain any oil or other contaminants from the reservoir without removing the same.

Generally, crankcase blow-by gases from the motorcycle engine are routed through the crankcase vent and into the reservoir 14. The blow-by gases are filtered by the dissipater 17 and much of the oil and other liquid contaminants present within the gases are collected within the reservoir 14. The remaining gases are permitted to exit the reservoir 14 and are dissipated into the ambient air surrounding the engine. Because the oil/contaminants are collected within the reservoir 14, the oil/contaminants that are usually present in blow-by gases are restrained from being deposited on the engine, the motorcycle, and most importantly into the air filter. Therefore, the present invention largely prevents blow-by gases from re-entering the engine.

Additional Embodiments

In addition to the preferred embodiment previously described, the reservoir/dissipater can be made in a variety of sizes. Additionally, the reservoir 14 can be sized for proper fitment on a particular size motorcycle. The dimensions of reservoir 14 may vary by any length up to 36 inches and, the diameter of reservoir 14 may vary in size from about ½ inch up to about 4 inches (see FIG. 8a). Likewise, the diameter of cap 16 will vary in direct correlation to that of the particular reservoir diameter. Caps are typically commercially manufactured in multiple configurations, any of which can be used satisfactorily. Example caps include an “end” cap 161 and “test” cap 16, as shown in the drawing figures. End caps are typically larger, heavier and are generally more expensive than test caps, but either cap works with the reservoir of the present invention. Shown in FIG. 5 is an example test cap 16 configuration, and shown in FIG. 6 is an example end cap 161 configuration. The dissipater 17 will also vary in diameter size directly corresponding to the variation of reservoir 14. Still another example embodiment is shown in FIG. 7, wherein the reservoir 14 is machined from solid billet stock (metal or otherwise) and does not include a separate cap, but rather the entire reservoir 14 is constructed as a unitary piece.

Alternative Embodiments

Other metallic materials can be used to form the reservoir 14 and cap 16, including but not limited to brass, bronze, titanium, stainless steel, or aluminum as desired.

The design of the reservoir/dissipater can be simplified further by eliminating cap 16 and closing reservoir 14 on one end with a crimp 18 (see FIG. 10) such as a crimp found on a tube of toothpaste.

Other than cylindrical tubing, the reservoir 14 can be shaped into any geometric form such as triangular, rectangular, polygons, or elliptical forms. For example, FIG. 9 shows one possible alternative embodiment comprising a geometric polygon form 141. The geometric forms can be cast, forged, stamped, extruded, machined, or electroformed.

Alternatives for dissipater 17 can be any pervious materials made from substances resistant to oil, including but not limited to copper, steel, aluminum, plastic, fiberglass, plant fiber, animal fiber, or mineral fiber.

Aside from soldering cap 16, reservoir 14, and conduit 15 together, the same may be welded together. Another alternative is assembly using a strong, permanent adhesive resistive to heat and oil.

In another aspect, the present invention is a reservoir kit for motorcycles having a V-twin style engine. The kit can comprise at least one, and preferably two, reservoirs 14 and dissipaters 17. The kit can further comprise at least one coupling, such as a band clamp, for securing the at least one reservoir 14 to the engine's crankcase vent. The kit can also comprise tubing or hose to cover and insulate the coupling. The reservoir 14 can include a drain for permitting a user to remove the contents therein without removing the same.

In still another aspect, as seen in FIG. 12, the present invention is a piston-driven V-twin style motorcycle engine 40 comprising two crankcase vents 20 for directing blow-by gases out of the crankcase. The crankcase vents are coupled to at least one reservoir 14 for removing liquid oil and other contaminants from the blow-by gases. The reservoir 14 prevents oil and other contaminants from being deposited onto the motorcycle engine and additionally keeps blow-by contaminants from entering the air filter. Blow-by gases are filtered through a dissipater 17 in the reservoir 14 and are then dissipated into the surrounding air. Blow-by gases are not routed back into the intake system of the engine 40 as is typical for many conventional piston-driven engines.

While the invention has been described with reference to preferred and example embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that a variety of modifications, additions and deletions are within the scope of the invention, as defined by the following claims.