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Details for Patent: 5,868,426

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Details for Patent: 5,868,426

Title: Cross car steering column support and method of installation
Abstract:A cross beam is mounted in a vehicle body between cowls on opposite sides of the vehicle body in a position to support a steering column. A bracket on one end of the beam has two slots which engage two locator studs on one of the cowls and provide increased body torsional stiffness. A second bracket is sleeved on the opposite end of the beam and has one slot engageable with a locator stud on the other cowl. The beam can be hung in the vehicle on these locator studs prior to driving fasteners which rigidly secure the brackets to the cowls. The second bracket may then be rigidly bolted to the beam.
Inventor(s): Edwards; Bret A. (Rochester, MI), Ferranti; Paul A. (Macomb, MI), Dreer; Michael G. (Ortonville, MI), Fistler; Mark R. (Ray, MI), Dong; William (Dearborn, MI), Lazarevich; Ronald S. (Washington, MI)
Assignee: Chrysler Corporation (Auburn Hills, MI)
Filing Date:May 27, 1997
Application Number:08/863,592
Claims:1. A cross beam assembly for supporting a steering column in an automotive vehicle body between first and second cowls on opposite sides of the vehicle body, comprising:

an elongated cross beam having a first end and a second end,

a first bracket secured on the first end of said beam,

means securing the first bracket to the first cowl,

a second bracket longitudinally slidably mounted on the second end of said beam,

means securing said second bracket to said second cowl,

means for releasably securing said second bracket to the second end of said beam in longitudinally adjusted position,

means for securing the steering column to said beam,

first locator means for locating said first bracket with respect to said first cowl, and

second locator means for locating said second bracket with respect to said second cowl, and wherein said first and second locator means comprise at least two spaced studs on said first cowl, at least two slots in said first bracket engageable with said respective two spaced studs, at least one stud on said second cowl, and at least one hole in said second bracket engageable with said at least one stud.

2. A cross beam assembly for supporting a steering column in an automotive vehicle body between first and second cowls on opposite sides of the vehicle body, comprising:

an elongated cross beam having a first end and a second end,

a first bracket secured on the first end of said beam,

means securing the first bracket to the first cowl,

a second bracket longitudinally slidably mounted on the second end of said beam,

means securing said second bracket to said second cowl,

means for releasably securing said second bracket to the second end of said beam in longitudinally adjusted position,

means for securing the steering column to said beam, and

wherein said means releasably securing said second bracket to the second end of said beam comprises a tube having internally threaded ends secured within and extending transversely of said beam at the second end thereof, said beam having diametrically opposite holes exposing the ends of said tube, said second bracket having a tubular portion sleeved over the second end of said beam, said tubular portion having diametrically opposed, elongated slots extending lengthwise of said beam and overlying the respective ends of said tube, and fasteners extending through the diametrically opposite holes in said beam and said respective elongated slots and threaded into the ends of said tube to secure the second bracket to the second end of the beam.

3. A cross beam assembly as defined in claim 2, and further including first locator means for locating said first bracket with respect to said first cowl and second locator means for locating said second bracket with respect to said second cowl, wherein said first and second locator means comprise at least two spaced studs on said first cowl, at least two slots in said first bracket engageable with said respective two spaced studs, at least one stud on said second cowl, and at least one hole in said second bracket engageable with said at least one stud.

4. A cross beam assembly as defined in claim 3, wherein said beam has diametrically opposite first flats and said tubular portion of said second bracket has diametrically opposite second flats engaged over said first flats to prevent rotation of said second bracket relative to said beam, said holes in said beam being formed in said first flats and said slots in said tubular portion being formed in said second flats.

5. A method of mounting a cross beam in a vehicle body between first and second cowls on opposite sides of the vehicle body in a position to support a steering column, comprising

providing a first bracket locator on said first cowl,

providing a second bracket locator on said second cowl,

mounting a first bracket in fixed position on a first end of said beam,

longitudinally slidably mounting a second bracket on a second end of said beam,

locating said first bracket on said first bracket locator,

locating said second bracket on said second bracket locator,

securing said first bracket to said first cowl,

securing said second bracket to said second cowl, and

securing said second bracket to said beam in longitudinally adjusted position and wherein said first and second bracket locators comprise at least two spaced-apart locator studs on said first cowl, at least two slots in said first bracket engageable with said respective two locator studs, at least one locator stud on said second cowl, and at least one hole in said second bracket engageable with said at least one stud.

6. A steering column cross beam assembly for supporting a steering column beneath an instrument panel in an automotive vehicle body between first and second cowls on opposite sides of the vehicle body, comprising:

an elongated cross beam having a first end and a second end,

a first bracket rigidly affixed on the first end of said beam,

means securing the first bracket to the first cowl,

a second bracket longitudinally slidably mounted on the second end of said beam,

means securing said second bracket to said second cowl,

means for releasably securing said second bracket to the second end of said beam in longitudinally adjusted position, and

means adjacent to said instrument panel for securing the steering column to said beam.

7. A cross beam assembly for supporting a steering column in an automotive vehicle body between first and second cowls on opposite sides of the vehicle body, comprising:

an elongated cross beam having a first end and a second end,

a first bracket secured on the first end of said beam,

mean curing the first bracket to the first cowl,

a second bracket longitudinally slidably mounted on the second end of said beam,

means securing said second bracket to said second cowl,

means for releasably securing said second bracket to the second end of said beam in longitudinally adjusted position,

means for securing the steering column to said beam, and

a second beam extending between said first bracket and said means for securing the steering column to said beam.
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