FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to an air cleaner resonator
mounting system and cover.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
An air cleaner purifies and directs air into an internal combustion
engine. Noise is produced by the engine which travels back through the induction
system. A resonator, such as a Helmholtz resonator, is commonly employed to reduce
noise. As noise passes the tuning tube positioned in the resonator and an opposition
noise wave is produced, the noise generated is reduced. The resonator and the tuning
tube cooperate to resonate with and absorb acoustical noise at a predetermined frequency,
thereby eliminating or diminishing these noises. In prior air cleaner assemblies,
the resonator is commonly located outside the air cleaner box. The prior art document
EP 0.896.148 shows an air cleaner assembly with a resonator chamber integrated in
the cover of the housing.
A cover is positioned over the air cleaner box to protect the interior
contents of the box. Currently, metal or plastic fasteners such as spring clips,
bolts or screws are employed to secure the cover to the air cleaner box. A hinge
mechanism is often employed in connection with the fasteners.
There are several drawbacks to utilizing the air cleaner of the prior
art. For one, as the resonator is located on the exterior of the air cleaner, additional
space is occupied and exterior tubing is needed. An additional bracket or fastener
is also needed to secure the resonator to the air cleaner. Additionally, the fasteners
employed in the prior art to secure the cover to the box produce excess loads on
the cover and the lower shell, which can result in leakage or over-design. Finally,
the prior art fasteners are bulky, also occupying additional space.
Hence, there is a need in the art for an air cleaner resonator mounting
system and cover.
OBJECT TO THE INVENTION
The present invention seeks to provide an improved air cleaner resonator
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
In accordance with a first aspect of the invention, there is provided
an air cleaner assembly comprising:
- a box component including a slide retention structure; and
- a resonator slidingly engaging said slide retention structure of said box component.
In accordance with a second aspect of this invention, there is provided
an air cleaner assembly comprising:
a resonator slidingly engaging said slide retention structure of said box component;
- a box component including a slide retention structure;
- a cover component;
- an attachment system to secure said cover component to said box component, said
attachment system including at least one aperture located on one of said components
and at least one fastener located and positioned on the other of said components
to insert within said at least one aperture when said cover component is positioned
on said box component in a closed position; and
- a locking mechanism including at least one wedge, said at least one wedge pressed
between said at least one aperture and said at least one fastener to secure said
cover component to said box component when in said closed position.
The resonator volume slides along the slide retention structure and
into an assembled position. In the assembled position, a tuning tube can be inserted
into an aperture located, on the lower surface of the volume. A flexible seal can
be positioned around the aperture acoustically seals the resonator volume to the
In a second feature of the present invention, an air cleaner cover
is secured to the air cleaner box by a lock plate. When the cover is placed on the
box, a plurality of hooks on the box are positioned in a plurality of holes on the
cover. The lock plate is then placed on the cover over the hooks and slid so that
a plurality of wedges on the lock plate are forced under the hooks, securing the
cover to the box. A side opening located proximate to the wedges allow the lock
plate slide so that the hooks do not hinder the movement of the lock plate. Once
locked, an end clip secures the lock plate.
Accordingly, the present invention provides an air cleaner resonator
mounting system and cover.
These and other features of the present invention will be best understood
from the following specification and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The various features and advantages of the invention will become apparent
to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the currently
preferred embodiment. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can be
briefly described as follows:
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
- Figure 1 illustrates an air cleaner in an engine air supply system;
- Figure 2 illustrates an air cleaner box and an internal resonator volume;
- Figure 3 illustrates an air cleaner box with the resonator volume installed;
- Figure 4 illustrates a cross sectional side view of the air cleaner box and
an installed resonator volume illustrating the fresh air connection and the seal;
- Figure 5 illustrates a top view of an alternative embodiment of the slide retention
structure of the air cleaner box;
- Figure 6 illustrates an exploded view of the air cleaner cover of the present
- Figure 7 illustrates the air cleaner cover in the open position; and
- Figure 8 illustrates the air cleaner cover in the locked position.
Figure 1 illustrates an air cleaner 10 for delivery of air to an internal
combustion engine 11. Air enters an air cleaner box 22 through a duct 13 from a
customer specified under hood location 15. Air passes through an air filter 17 which
cleans the air and then enters an upper component 21 between the filter 17 and a
cover 40, the cover 40 enclosing the box 22. The air exits the box 22 through another
duct 19 and enters the engine 11.
Figure 2 illustrates the air cleaner 10 of an air cleaner assembly.
From the duct 13, air enters the box 22 through a hollow duct 18 which is formed
inside the air cleaner 22. A tuning tube 14 having a plurality of holes/slots 16
is formed off of an inlet port 20. A resonator volume box 12 cooperates with a tuning
tube 14 to absorb acoustical noise at a predetermined frequency, eliminating or
diminishing noises produced as air travels through the air cleaner 10. The noise
passing the tuning tube 14 resonates in the volume box 12 to create a tuned frequency.
At this tuned frequency, sound waves of a predetermined frequency are reflected
back into the air cleaner system and prevented from escaping to the exterior environment.
In the preferred embodiment, the resonator volume box 12 is a Helmholtz resonator.
After exiting the inlet port 20, the air enters the box 22 and moves to be filtered.
The resonator volume box 12 slides along a slide retention structure
24 in an air cleaner box 22. In the preferred embodiment, the slide retention structure
24, the inlet port 20, and the tuning tube 14 are molded into the box 22.
The resonator volume box 12 is either blow molded or injection molded.
The lower surface 38 of the resonator volume box 12 includes an aperture 30 substantially
sized and shaped to receive the tuning tube 14 when the resonator volume box 12
is assembled in the air cleaner 10. The volume box 12 further includes a recess
26 substantially sized and shaped to receive a protruded engagement portion 28 of
the slide retainer structure 24. Alternatively, the resonator volume box 12 can
include a protruded engagement portion and the slide retainer structure 24 can include
As illustrated in Figure 3, when the resonator volume box 12 is installed
in the air cleaner box 22, the protruded engagement portion 28 of the slide retainer
structure 24 substantially engages the recess 26 of the resonator volume box 12.
As the resonator volume box 12 slides along the length of the slide retainer structure
24 towards the bottom of the air cleaner box 10, the tuning tube 14 inserts within
the aperture 30. If the resonator volume box 12 is misinstalled, the volume box
12 will not engage the tuning tube 14 and will disengage from the air cleaner box
10 when the box 10 is flipped upside down.
As illustrated in Figure 4, a flexible seal 32 positioned in the aperture
30 acoustically seals the resonator volume box 12 to the tuning tube 14. When the
resonator volume box 12 is installed in the air cleaner box 22, the seal 32 surrounds
the tuning tube 14 to acoustically seal the volume box 12.
As air passes through the air cleaner 10, it passes through the hollow
duct 18 of the inlet port 20.
In an alternative embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 5, the slide
retention structure 124 is formed by a pair of rails 200 attached to the air cleaner
box 10. The rails 200 are positioned to substantially engage a corresponding recess
26 in the volume box 12 when the volume box 12 is assembled on the slide retention
structure 124 and slid to engage the tuning tube 14. In the preferred embodiment,
each of the pair of rails 200 include an attaching portion 204 and an angled portion
202. When the volume box 12 is assembled on the slide retention structure 124, the
angled portion 202 secures the volume box 12 to the air cleaner box 10 and prevents
the volume box 12 from disengaging.
The air cleaner cover 40 includes a plurality of holes 42, as illustrated
in Figure 6. The air cleaner box 22 further includes a plurality of hooks 44. When
the cover 40 is positioned on the box 22, the holes 42 receive the plurality of
hooks 44. Each hook 44 includes an attachment portion 62 and a substantially perpendicular
upper portion 60. In an alternative embodiment, the hooks 44 are located on the
cover 40 and the holes 42 are located on the box 22.
A lock plate 46 is employed to secure the cover 40 to the box 22.
The lock plate 46 includes a plurality of inclined wedges 48 positioned to correspond
to a hook 44 and a hole 42. The wedges 48 include a substantially flat upper portion
50 and an inclined portion 52 extending downwardly from the upper portion 50. An
opening 54 is positioned proximate to each of the wedges 48 and includes a front
portion 56 positioned in, front of the. inclined portion 52 and a side portion 58
positioned along the length of the wedge 48. The front portion 56 is sized and shaped
to substantially receive the upper portion 60 of a hook 44, and the side portion
58 is sized and shaped to substantially receive the attachment portion 62 of the
When the cover 40 is positioned on the box 22, the hooks 44 are positioned
within the holes 42. In the open position, as illustrated in Figure 7, the lock
plate 46 is positioned on the upper surface 64 of the cover 40 so that each of the
hooks 44 are positioned in a front portion 56 of one of the openings 54 of the lock
plate 46. Although two hooks 44 and holes 42 are illustrated, it is to be understood
that any number of hooks 44 and holes 42 can be utilized.
Figure 8 illustrates the lock plate 46 after being slide into the
locked position. As the lock plate 46 slides, the wedge 48 slides until it is positioned
under and substantially contacts the upper portion 60 of the hook 44. The wedge
48 applies vertical pressure to the hook 44, puling the cover 40 and the box 22
together. The hook 44 does not hinder the movement of the lock plate 46 because
the side portion 58 of the opening 54 slides around the attachment portion 62 of
the hook 44 during sliding. The contact of the wedge 48 with the hook 44 secures
the lock plate 46 in position, pulling both the cover 40 and the box 22 together.
Additionally, the filter 17 is secured and sealed between the cover 40 and the box
As further illustrated in Figure 8, it is preferred that a flex end
clip 66 be positioned on the end 68 of the lock plate 46. When the lock plate 46
is slid in the locked position of Figure 8, the end clip 66 contacts the box 22
and the cover 40, preventing sliding of the lock plate 46 during operation. When
the air cleaner 10 is to be serviced, the end clip 66 is pushed, disengaging the
end clip 66 from the box 22 and the cover 40, and allowing the lock plate 46 to
slide into the open position and be removed.
There are several advantages to utilizing an integrated resonator
an air cleaner. For one, no separate tubing or exterior connections are needed.
Additionally, as the resonator is positioned in the air cleaner 10 and is not visible,
styling of the resonator volume box 12 is not required. Finally, the resonator volume
can lock into position without the need of additional brackets or fasteners. There
are also advantages to utilizing a lock plate 46 to secure the cover. The slide
clip has simple retaining features which allow for easy servicing and security.
Additionally, the clip area on the product is decreased, allowing for smaller installation
space. The lock plate 46 can also be utilized with a hinge mechanism. Finally, bulky
multi-part clips, springs, or screws are eliminated.