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Patexia Research
Issue Date May 6, 2021
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Patent Application - DISCONNECTING STABILIZER BAR ASSEMBLY HAVING DISCONNECT MECHANISM WITH REDUCED BACKLASH > Claims

  • 1. A stabilizer bar assembly comprising: first and second stabilizer bar members, each of the first and second stabilizer bar members being generally L-shaped and having a central segment, which is rotatable about a rotational axis, and an arm segment that extends generally perpendicular to the central segment; anda clutch assembly for selectively non-rotatably coupling the central segments of the first and second stabilizer bar members to one another, the clutch assembly comprising a first coupler, a second coupler, a coupling sleeve and a rotary lock, the first coupler being non-rotatably coupled to the central segment of the first stabilizer bar member, the second coupler being non-rotatably coupled to the central segment of the second stabilizer bar member, the coupling sleeve being axially slidably but non-rotatably engaged to the first coupler, the coupling sleeve being movable along the rotational axis between a first position, in which the coupling sleeve is disengaged from the second coupler to permit relative rotation between the central segments of the first and second stabilizer bar members about the rotational axis, and a second position in which the coupling sleeve is engaged to the first and second couplers, the rotary lock having a first lock member and a second lock member, the first lock member being fixedly coupled to the coupling sleeve, the second lock member being fixedly coupled to the second coupler, wherein placement of the coupling sleeve in the second position engages the first lock member to the second lock member to inhibit relative movement about the rotational axis between the coupling sleeve and the second coupler.
    • 2. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 1, wherein the first lock member comprises a plurality of face teeth that engage mating features formed on the second lock member.
      • 3. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 2, wherein each of the face teeth comprises at least one tapered side surface that engages a corresponding one of the mating features.
        • 4. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 3, wherein the corresponding one of the mating features comprises a correspondingly tapered side surface.
        • 5. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 3, wherein the at least one tapered side surface comprises a first portion, which is defined by a first angle between the first portion of the side surface and a central axis of a corresponding one of the face teeth, and a second portion that is defined by a second angle between the second portion of the side surface and the central axis, the second angle being larger than the first angle, and wherein when the coupling sleeve is in the first position, the second portions are disposed along the rotational axis between the face teeth and the first portions.
    • 6. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 1, further comprising a linear motor that is configured to translate the coupling sleeve between the first and second positions.
      • 7. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 6, further comprising a spring that biases the coupling sleeve toward the second position.
      • 8. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 6, wherein the linear motor comprises a solenoid.
      • 9. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 6, further comprising a fork that is mounted to the coupling sleeve in a manner that permits relative rotation there between but which limits or inhibits relative axial movement there between.
    • 10. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 1, wherein the first coupler has a first gear portion, the second coupler has a second gear portion, and the coupling sleeve has an internally toothed aperture that is engaged to both of the first and second gear portions when the coupling sleeve is in the second position.
      • 11. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 10, wherein the first lock member comprises a plurality of first teeth that are concentric with the internally toothed aperture.
        • 12. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 11, wherein the first teeth are unitarily and integrally formed with the coupling sleeve.
        • 13. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 11, wherein the second lock members comprise a plurality of second teeth that mesh with the first teeth on the coupling sleeve.
          • 14. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 13, wherein the first teeth are internal teeth and the second teeth are external teeth.
            • 15. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 14, wherein each of the second teeth tapers outwardly from an associated one of the second teeth.
    • 16. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 1, wherein the coupling sleeve is fixedly coupled to the first coupler, wherein the rotary lock further comprises a sliding collar, which is non-rotatably but axially slidably coupled to the central segment of the first stabilizer bar member, a third lock member, and a fourth lock member, the sliding collar being disposed between the first and second couplers, the third lock member being fixedly coupled to and disposed on a first axial side of the sliding collar, the fourth lock member being fixedly coupled to and disposed on a second, opposite axial side of the sliding collar, and wherein placement of the coupling sleeve in the second position directly engages the first and third lock members to one another and directly engages the second and fourth lock members to one another.
      • 17. The stabilizer bar assembly of claim 16, wherein the rotary lock further comprises a first biasing spring and a second biasing spring, the first biasing spring being disposed axially between the first and third lock members, the second biasing spring being disposed axially between the second and fourth lock members and having a spring rate that is less than a spring rate of the first biasing spring.
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