(19)
(11)EP 3 647 555 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION
published in accordance with Art. 153(4) EPC

(43)Date of publication:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 18824775.3

(22)Date of filing:  27.04.2018
(51)Int. Cl.: 
F01L 1/20  (2006.01)
F01L 13/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2018/017283
(87)International publication number:
WO 2019/003629 (03.01.2019 Gazette  2019/01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 30.06.2017 JP 2017128790

(71)Applicant: Yamaha Hatsudoki Kabushiki Kaisha
Iwata-shi, Shizuoka 438-8501 (JP)

(72)Inventor:
  • OKAMOTO, Yasuo
    Iwata-shi Shizuoka 438-8501 (JP)

(74)Representative: Zimmermann, Tankred Klaus et al
Schoppe, Zimmermann, Stöckeler Zinkler, Schenk & Partner mbB Patentanwälte Radlkoferstrasse 2
81373 München
81373 München (DE)

  


(54)INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE AND VEHICLE


(57) An object is to provide an internal combustion engine that allows easy installment of a support member that pivotally supports a rocker arm while preventing fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member. An internal combustion engine (10) includes a columnar support member (35) at least a portion of which is inserted into a hole (37) of a cylinder head (12), a rocker arm (40) that is pivotally supported on the support member (35), and a ball plunger (39) that secures the support member (35) inside the hole (37). The ball plunger (39) includes a spring seat (39B) that contacts with the support member (35), a ball (39C) that contacts with the cylinder head (12), and a spring (39A) interposed between the spring seat (39B) and the ball (39C).




Description

TECHNICAL FIELD



[0001] The present invention relates to an internal combustion engine and a vehicle.

BACKGROUND ART



[0002] There are conventional internal combustion engines that have a valve mechanism including: a circular columnar-shaped support member that is inserted into a hole formed in a cylinder head; a rocker arm that is pivotally supported on the support member; and a cam that is provided on a cam shaft and is in contact with the rocker arm. Patent Document No. 1 discloses a valve mechanism that includes a lash adjuster as the support member.

CITATION LIST


PATENT LITERATURE



[0003] Patent Document No. 1: Japanese Laid-Open Patent Publication No. 2009-185753

SUMMARY OF INVENTION


TECHNICAL PROBLEM



[0004] In the valve mechanism, the rocker arm is held down by the cam. Therefore, the support member is held down by the cam with the rocker arm therebetween. However, the support member is only inserted into the hole of the cylinder head and is not particularly secured to the cylinder head. While the internal combustion engine is running, a load in the axial direction of the support member is repeatedly generated on the support member. Therefore, the support member may possibly rise from the hole, leading to problems such as fretting wear. On the other hand, if the support member is secured to the cylinder head using screws in order to prevent the rise, it will detract from the ease of installment of the support member.

[0005] The present invention has been made in view of the above, and an object thereof is to provide an internal combustion engine that allows a support member to be installed easily while preventing fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member, and a vehicle having the same.

SOLUTION TO PROBLEM



[0006] An internal combustion engine according to the present invention includes: a cylinder member formed with a hole; a port formed in the cylinder member; a valve installed in the cylinder member that opens/closes the port; a cam shaft rotatably supported on the cylinder member; a cam provided on the cam shaft; a columnar support member at least a portion of which is inserted into the hole of the cylinder member; a rocker arm that includes a supported portion pivotally supported on the support member, a pressed portion pressed by the cam, and an abutting portion to abut on the valve; and a securing member that secures the support member inside the hole. The securing member includes a first contact portion to be in contact with the support member, a second contact portion to be in contact with the cylinder member, and an elastic portion interposed between the first contact portion and the second contact portion.

[0007] With the internal combustion engine described above, when the support member is pushed into the hole of the cylinder member, the support member is inserted into the hole. The support member is inserted into the hole and is then secured inside the hole by the elastic force of the elastic portion of the securing member. With the internal combustion engine described above, there is no need for an operation of securing the support member to the cylinder member by using screws. This makes the installment of the support member easy. Since the support member is secured by the elastic force of the elastic portion of the securing member, it is possible to prevent the support member from rising from the hole. Therefore, with the internal combustion engine described above, it is possible to prevent fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member while maintaining the ease of installment of the support member.

[0008] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the securing member is a plunger mechanism that includes a spring arranged inside the support member, and a presser at least a portion of which is arranged outside the support member and that is connected to the spring.

[0009] According to the embodiment described above, the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact. By appropriately setting the spring constant, etc., of the spring, the ease of operation of inserting the support member into the hole and the prevention of rising of the support member can be realized in a well-balanced manner.

[0010] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the securing member is a snap ring that is fitted to the support member.

[0011] According to the embodiment described above, the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact.

[0012] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the securing member is a ring-shaped coil spring that is wound around the support member.

[0013] According to the embodiment described above, the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact.

[0014] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, a groove that engages with the securing member is formed on an inner surface of the hole of the cylinder member.

[0015] According to the embodiment described above, when the support member is inserted into the hole of the cylinder member, the securing member engages with the groove, thus securing the support member inside the hole. As the securing member engages with the groove, the support member is even less likely to rise. Therefore, the ease of installment of the support member and the prevention of fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member can be both realized at a high level.

[0016] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, in a cross-section that passes through a part of the groove and that includes a center line of the hole, the groove has a sloped surface that is inclined relative to the center line of the hole so as to come closer to the center line of the hole while extending toward the rocker arm along a direction of the center line of the hole.

[0017] According to the embodiment described above, the support member is even less likely to rise. Therefore, it is possible to even better prevent fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member.

[0018] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the groove is a cone-shaped or circular columnar-shaped groove having an axis that is inclined relative to the center line of the hole.

[0019] According to the embodiment described above, the groove can be machined by inserting a tool such as a drill or an endmill into the hole of the cylinder member from outside in a direction that is slanted relative to the center line of the hole. Therefore, the groove can be formed in a simple and inexpensive manner.

[0020] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the hole and the support member are each formed in a circular columnar shape. The groove is a circumferential groove formed on an inner circumferential surface of the hole.

[0021] Where the groove is formed only at one point in the circumferential direction of the hole, if the position at which the groove is machined is shifted in the circumferential direction, the position at which the support member is attached in the circumferential direction may possibly be shifted. However, according to the embodiment described above, since the groove is formed in a circumferential pattern, the position at which the support member is attached in the circumferential direction is prevented from being shifted. Therefore, even if the machining precision of the groove is relatively low, it is possible to properly machine the groove. Thus, the groove can be formed in a simple and inexpensive manner.

[0022] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the securing member is a plunger mechanism that includes a spring arranged inside the cylinder member, and a presser at least a portion of which is arranged inside the hole of the cylinder member and that is connected to the spring.

[0023] According to the embodiment described above, it is possible to increase the degree of freedom in the position of installing of the securing member. By appropriately setting the spring constant, etc., of the spring, the ease of operation of inserting the support member into the hole and the prevention of rising of the support member can be realized in a well-balanced manner.

[0024] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the securing member is a snap ring that is fitted to an inner surface of the hole of the cylinder member.

[0025] According to the embodiment described above, the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact.

[0026] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the securing member is a ring-shaped coil spring that is fitted to an inner surface of the hole of the cylinder member.

[0027] According to the embodiment described above, the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact.

[0028] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the securing member is a leaf spring that is secured to an edge of the hole of the cylinder member.

[0029] According to the embodiment described above, the securing member can be configured to be simple.

[0030] According to one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the rocker arm includes a first arm that includes the supported portion and the abutting portion, and a second arm that includes the pressed portion and is pivotally supported on the first arm. The internal combustion engine includes a connecting mechanism that removably connects the first arm and the second arm. The support member is configured to be unable to expand/contract in an axial direction of the support member.

[0031] Where the rocker arm includes the second arm that is pivotally supported on the first arm, and the support member is a member that can contract/expand in the axial direction, such as a lash adjuster, the relative position between the first arm and the second arm may possibly be shifted following the expansion/contraction of the support member when the connection between the first arm and the second arm is disconnected. As a result, the second arm may be shifted from the intended position relative to the first arm, and the connecting mechanism may fail to properly connect the first arm and the second arm. However, according to the embodiment described above, since the support member is unable to expand/contract in the axial direction, it is possible to prevent the lowering of the connection function.

[0032] A vehicle according to the present invention includes the internal combustion engine described above.

[0033] Thus, it is possible to obtain a vehicle that realizes the advantageous effects described above.

ADVANTAGEOUS EFFECTS OF INVENTION



[0034] According to the present invention, it is possible to provide an internal combustion engine that allows easy installment of a support member that supports a rocker arm while preventing fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member, and a vehicle having the same.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS



[0035] 

FIG. 1 is a view showing an example of an internal combustion engine according to one embodiment of the present invention installed in an automobile.

FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view of the internal combustion engine.

FIG. 3 is a partial enlarged cross-sectional view of the internal combustion engine.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a rocker arm and a support member.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of the rocker arm and the support member.

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of a first arm and a second arm of the rocker arm.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along line VII-VII of FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 is equivalent to FIG. 7, showing the rocker arm in the connected state.

FIG. 9 is a side view showing the rocker arm in the connected state that has pivoted relative to the support member.

FIG. 10 is equivalent to FIG. 7, showing the rocker arm when the second arm pivots relative to the first arm.

FIG. 11 is a side view showing the rocker arm and the support member when the second arm pivots relative to the first arm.

FIG. 12A is a side view of a support member.

FIG. 12B is a cross-sectional view taken along line XIIb-XIIb of FIG. 12A.

FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of a hole of a cylinder head.

FIG. 14 is a side view of a support member according to an alternative embodiment.

FIG. 15A is a cross-sectional view of a support member according to an alternative embodiment.

FIG. 15B is a cross-sectional view taken along line XVb-XVb of FIG. 15A.

FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view of a support member according to an alternative embodiment.

FIG. 17A is a cross-sectional view of a support member according to an alternative embodiment.

FIG. 17B is a cross-sectional view taken along line XVIIb-XVIIb of FIG. 17A.

FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of a support member according to an alternative embodiment.

FIG. 19 is a side view of a support member according to an alternative embodiment.


DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS



[0036] An embodiment of the present invention will now be described with reference to the drawings. An internal combustion engine according to the present embodiment is installed in a vehicle and used as the drive source of the vehicle. There is no limitation on the type of the vehicle, which may be a straddled vehicle such as a motorcycle, an auto tricycle or an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) or may be an automobile. For example, an internal combustion engine 10 may be arranged in the engine room of an automobile 5 as shown in FIG. 1.

[0037] The internal combustion engine 10 according to the present embodiment is a multi-cylinder engine having a plurality of cylinders. The internal combustion engine 10 is a 4-stroke engine that goes through the intake stroke, the compression stroke, the combustion stroke and the exhaust stroke. FIG. 2 is a partial cross-sectional view of the internal combustion engine 10. As shown in FIG. 2, the internal combustion engine 10 includes a crankcase (not shown), a cylinder body 7 connected to the crankcase, and a cylinder head 12 connected to the cylinder body 7. A crankshaft (not shown) is arranged inside the crankcase. A plurality of cylinders 6 are provided inside the cylinder body 7. A piston 8 is arranged inside each cylinder 6. The piston 8 and the crankshaft are connected by a connecting rod (not shown).

[0038] An intake cam shaft 23 and an exhaust cam shaft 21 are rotatably supported on the cylinder head 12. Intake cams 23A are provided on the intake cam shaft 23, and exhaust cams 21A are provided on the exhaust cam shaft 21.

[0039] Intake ports 16 and exhaust ports 14 are formed in the cylinder head 12. An intake opening 18 is formed at one end of the intake port 16. An exhaust opening 17 is formed on one end of the exhaust port 14. The intake port 16 communicates with a combustion chamber 15 through the intake opening 18. The exhaust port 14 communicates with the combustion chamber 15 through the exhaust opening 17. The intake port 16 serves to guide the mixed gas of the air and the fuel into the combustion chamber 15. The exhaust port 14 serves to guide the exhaust gas discharged from the combustion chamber 15 to the outside.

[0040] Intake valves 22 and exhaust valves 20 are installed in the cylinder head 12. The intake valve 22 opens/closes the intake opening 18 of the intake port 16. The exhaust valve 20 opens/closes the exhaust opening 17 of the exhaust port 14. The intake valve 22 and the exhaust valve 20 are so-called poppet valves. The intake valve 22 has a shaft portion 22a and an umbrella portion 22b, and the exhaust valve 20 has a shaft portion 20a and an umbrella portion 20b. The configuration of the intake valve 22 and the configuration of the exhaust valve 20 are similar to each other, and the configuration of the intake valve 22 will be described below while omitting the description of the configuration of the exhaust valve 20. The shaft portion 22a of the intake valve 22 is slidably supported on the cylinder head 12 with a cylinder-shaped sleeve 24 therebetween. A valve stem seal 25 is attached to one end of the sleeve 24 and the shaft portion 22a of the intake valve 22. The shaft portion 22a of the intake valve 22 extends through the sleeve 24 and the valve stem seal 25. A tappet 26 is fitted to the tip of the shaft portion 22a.

[0041] As shown in FIG. 3, a cotter 28 is attached to the shaft portion 22a of the intake valve 22. The cotter 28 is fitted to a valve spring retainer 30. The valve spring retainer 30 is secured to the intake valve 22 with the cotter 28 therebetween. The valve spring retainer 30 can move, together with the intake valve 22, in an axial direction of the intake valve 22. The intake valve 22 extends through the valve spring retainer 30.

[0042] The internal combustion engine 10 includes a valve spring 32 that provides the intake valve 22 with a force in the direction of closing the intake opening 18 (the upward direction in FIG. 3). The valve spring 32 is a compression coil spring, and includes a first spring end portion 32a supported on the valve spring retainer 30 and a second spring end portion 32b supported on the cylinder head 12.

[0043] The internal combustion engine 10 includes a rocker arm 40 that receives a force from the intake cam 23A to open/close the intake valve 22. The rocker arm 40 is pivotally supported on the cylinder head 12 with a support member 35 therebetween. FIG. 4 is a side view of the rocker arm 40 and the support member 35, and FIG. 5 is a plan view of the rocker arm 40 and the support member 35. The rocker arm 40 includes a first arm 41 and a second arm 42 including a roller 43.

[0044] FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of the first arm 41 and the second arm 42. The first arm 41 includes a plate 41A, a plate 41B, an abutting plate 41C and a connecting plate 41D. The plate 41A and the plate 41B are arranged parallel to each other. The abutting plate 41C and the connecting plate 41D cross the plate 41A and the plate 41B. The abutting plate 41C and the connecting plate 41D connect together the plate 41A and the plate 41B. The plate 41A is formed with a hole 46A and a hole 48. The plate 41B is formed with a hole 46B (see FIG. 7) and the hole 48. The holes 46A, 46B and 48 extend in the direction parallel to the axial line direction of the intake cam shaft 23 (see FIG. 3).

[0045] FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view taken along line VII-VII of FIG. 4. As shown in FIG. 7, a cylinder-shaped boss portion 49A is provided around the hole 46A of the plate 41A. A connecting pin 60A is slidably inserted inside the hole 46A. A bottomed cylinder-shaped cover portion 49B is provided around the hole 46B of the plate 41B. The cover portion 49B is provided with a hole 47 having a smaller diameter than the hole 46B, but the hole 47 may be omitted. A connecting pin 60B is slidably inserted inside the hole 46B. A spring 64 is arranged inside the hole 46B. The spring 64 is present between the cover portion 49B and the connecting pin 60B, and urges the connecting pin 60B toward the plate 41A.

[0046] The second arm 42 is arranged on the inner side of the first arm 41. That is, the second arm 42 is arranged between the plate 41A and the plate 41B. As shown in FIG. 6 the second arm 42 includes a plate 42A, a plate 42B, an abutting plate 42C and a connecting plate 42D. The plate 42A and the plate 42B are arranged parallel to each other. The abutting plate 42C and the connecting plate 42D cross the plate 42A and the plate 42B. The abutting plate 42C and the connecting plate 42D connect together the plate 42A and the plate 42B. The plate 42A and the plate 42B are formed with a hole 50 and a hole 52, respectively.

[0047] As shown in FIG. 7, the cylinder-shaped roller 43 is rotatably supported on the hole 50 of the plate 42A and the hole 50 of the plate 42B. Specifically, a cylinder-shaped collar 54 is inserted through the holes 50 of the plate 42A and the plate 42B. The roller 43 is rotatably supported on the collar 54. A connecting pin 62 is slidably inserted inside the collar 54. Since the collar 54 is arranged inside the holes 50, the connecting pin 62 is slidably inserted inside the holes 50. Note that the collar 54 is not always necessary. The connecting pin 62 may rotatably support the roller 43.

[0048] An outer diameter of the connecting pin 60B is less than or equal to an inner diameter of the collar 54. The connecting pin 60B is formed so that it can be inserted inside the collar 54. An outer diameter of the connecting pin 62 is less than or equal to an inner diameter of the hole 46A. The connecting pin 62 is formed so that it can be inserted inside the hole 46A. In the present embodiment, the inner diameter of the collar 54 and the inner diameter of the hole 46A are equal to each other. The outer diameter of the connecting pin 60B, the outer diameter of the connecting pin 62 and an outer diameter of the connecting pin 60A are equal to each other.

[0049] As shown in FIG. 4, the support member 35, the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 are connected together by a support pin 56. The support pin 56 is inserted through the hole 48 of the plate 41A and the hole 48 of the plate 41B of the first arm 41, and the hole 52 of the plate 42A and the hole 52 of the plate 42B of the second arm 42. The first arm 41 and the second arm 42 are pivotally supported on the support member 35 by the support pin 56. The second arm 42 is pivotally supported on the first arm 41 by the support pin 56.

[0050] As shown in FIG. 7, a connection switch pin 66 is arranged on the side of the rocker arm 40. The connection switch pin 66 is configured to be movable in the direction toward the connecting pin 60A and in the direction away from the connecting pin 60A.

[0051] As shown in FIG. 8, when the connection switch pin 66 moves in the direction away from the connecting pin 60A, the connecting pins 60A, 62 and 60B slide leftward in FIG. 8 due to the force of the spring 64. Thus, the connecting pin 60B is located inside the hole 46B and inside the hole 50 (specifically, inside the collar 54), and the connecting pin 62 is located inside the hole 50 (specifically, inside the collar 54) and inside the hole 46A. This state will hereinafter be referred to as the connected state. In the connected state, the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 are connected together by the connecting pin 60B and the connecting pin 62. As a result, as shown in FIG. 9, the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 are, as a single unit, pivotable about the axis of the support pin 9.

[0052] As shown in FIG. 7, the connection switch pin 66 moves toward the connecting pin 60A, the connecting pins 60A, 62 and 60B are pushed by the connection switch pin 66 and slide rightward in FIG. 7. Thus, the connecting pin 60B is located inside the hole 46B and not located inside the hole 50, and the connecting pin 62 is located inside the hole 50 and not located inside the hole 46A. This state will hereinafter be referred to as the non-connected state. In the non-connected state, as shown in FIG. 10, the connecting pin 62 is slidable relative to the connecting pin 60A and the connecting pin 60B. As a result, as shown in FIG. 11, the second arm 42 is pivotable about the axis of the support pin 56 relative to the first arm 41. Therefore, the second arm 42 pivots about the axis of the support pin 56 while the first arm 41 does not pivot.

[0053] As shown in FIG. 3, the portion of the first arm 41 that is supported by the support pin 56 (specifically, the portion of the plate 41A around the hole 48 and the portion of the plate 41B around the hole 48) forms a supported portion 41S that is pivotally supported on the cylinder head 12. The abutting plate 41C forms an "abutting portion" that is to abut on the intake valve 22 with the tappet 26 therebetween. The roller 43 forms a "pressed portion" that is in contact with the intake cam 23A and is pressed by the intake cam 23A.

[0054] As shown in FIG. 3, the support member 35 that pivotally supports the rocker arm 40 is inserted into a hole 37 formed in the cylinder head 12. In the present embodiment, the cylinder head 12 corresponds to the "cylinder member". Note, however, that a cam carrier (not shown) may be attached to the cylinder head 12, and the hole 37, through which the support member 35 is inserted, may be formed in the cam carrier. In such a case, the cylinder head 12 and the cam carrier, combined together, correspond to the "cylinder member". Thus, another member may be attached to the cylinder head 12, and the hole 37 may be formed in that member. In such a case, the cylinder head 12 and the other member, combined together, correspond to the "cylinder member". In the present embodiment, the support member 35 is formed in a circular columnar shape. Note however that the support member 35 is not limited to a circular columnar shape, but may be a polygonal columnar shape, for example, or any other columnar shape. The hole 37 preferably has a cross-sectional shape that corresponds to the cross-sectional shape of the support member 35.

[0055] FIG. 12A is a side view of the support member 35. FIG. 12B is a cross-sectional view taken along line XIIb-XIIb of FIG. 12A. As shown in FIG. 12A, the support member 35 includes a shaft portion 35A at least a portion of which is inserted into the hole 37, and a ring portion 35B formed with a hole 35C through which the support pin 56 (see FIG. 3) is inserted. A ball plunger 39 is provided inside the shaft portion 35A as a securing member that secures the support member 35 in the hole 37.

[0056] As shown in FIG. 12B, the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35 is formed with a hole 35D extending in the radial direction. The ball plunger 39 is fitted in the hole 35D. The ball plunger 39 includes a spring 39A that is a compression coil spring, a spring seat 39B that is connected to one end of the spring 39A, and a ball 39C that is connected to the other end of the spring 39A. While the ball 39C is an example of a presser of a plunger mechanism, the presser is not limited to the ball 39C but may be a pin, etc. A portion of the ball 39C is exposed on the outside of the hole 35D. The inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12 is formed with a groove 37a that engages with the ball 39C.

[0057] Although there is no limitation on the shape of the groove 37a, the groove 37a has a sloped surface 37b as shown in FIG. 13 in the present embodiment. As shown in FIG. 13, in a cross-section that passes through a part of the groove 37a and that includes a center line 37c of the hole 37, the sloped surface 37b is inclined relative to the center line 37c so as to come closer to the center line 37c while extending toward the rocker arm 40 along the direction of the center line 37c of the hole 37 (i.e., upward in FIG. 13).

[0058] The groove 37a is a cone-shaped or circular columnar-shaped groove having an axis 13c that is inclined relative to the center line 37c of the hole 37. The groove 37a according to the present embodiment can be easily machined by inserting a tool 13 such as a drill or an endmill into the hole 37 in a direction that is slanted relative to the center line 37c.

[0059] With the internal combustion engine 10 according to the present embodiment, the support member 35 is not screwed onto the cylinder head 12. The support member 35 can be easily attached to the cylinder head 12 by inserting the support member 35 into the hole 37. Specifically, by positioning the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35 above the hole 37 and inserting the shaft portion 35A into the hole 37, the ball 39C is pushed by the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37, thus compressing the spring 39A. When the shaft portion 35A is inserted to a predetermined position, the ball 39C engages with the groove 37a. Then, the operator feels a clicking sensation and thus easily knows that the shaft portion 35A has been inserted to a predetermined position. Therefore, the support member 35 can be easily positioned, and the support member 35 is unlikely to come out of the hole 37. With the elastic force generated by the compression of the spring 39A, the ball 39C is pressed against the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37. The pressure with which the ball 39C presses the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 secures the support member 35 inside the hole 37.

[0060] Note that in the present embodiment, the spring seat 39B is an example of the first contact portion in contact with the support member 35. The ball 39C is an example of the second contact portion in contact with the cylinder head 12. The spring 39A is present between the spring seat 39B and the ball 39C, and is an example of the elastic portion.

[0061] As shown in FIG. 3, the internal combustion engine 10 includes a compression coil spring 68, as a lost motion spring, that urges the rocker arm 40 toward the intake cam 23A. A shaft 70 that extends along a winding axis 68d of the compression coil spring 68 is arranged inside the compression coil spring 68. The shaft 70 has a first end portion 70a, and a second end portion 70b that is arranged on the second arm 42 side relative to the first end portion 70a. A spring seat 72 that receives the compression coil spring 68 is provided at the first end portion 70a.

[0062] The compression coil spring 68 has a first end portion 68a, and a second end portion 68b that is arranged on the second arm 42 side relative to the first end portion 68a. A retainer 74 is supported at the second end portion 68b. The retainer 74 includes a disc-shaped top plate portion 74a and a cylinder-shaped tube portion 74b. The tube portion 74b extends from the top plate portion 74a along the axial direction of the shaft 70 toward the compression coil spring 68. The top plate portion 74a is supported on the second end portion 68b of the compression coil spring 68. The top plate portion 74a is in contact with the abutting plate 42C of the second arm 42 of the rocker arm 40.

[0063] The spring seat 72, at least a portion of the shaft 70, at least a portion of the compression coil spring 68 and at least a portion of the tube portion 74b of the retainer 74 are arranged inside a hole 76 formed in the cylinder head 12.

[0064] The intake valve 22, the valve spring 32, the shaft 70, the retainer 74, the compression coil spring 68 and the support member 35 are arranged parallel to each other. The retainer 74 is arranged between the valve spring 32 and the support member 35. The shaft 70 is arranged between the valve spring 32 and the support member 35.

[0065] As shown in FIG. 2, as with the intake valve 22, the valve spring 32, the valve spring retainer 30, the rocker arm 40, the support member 35, the compression coil spring 68, etc., are provided also for the exhaust valve 20. These elements are similar to those described above, and will not be described in detail below.

[0066] With the internal combustion engine 10 according to the present embodiment, it is possible to switch the operation state of the intake valve 22 and the exhaust valve 20 by switching the state of the connection switch pin 66.

[0067] That is, when the connection switch pin 66 is switched to the connected state, the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 of the rocker arm 40 are connected together by the connecting pin 60B and the connecting pin 62 (see FIG. 8). When the intake cam 23A pushes the roller 43 of the rocker arm 40 following the rotation of the intake cam shaft 23, the first arm 41 and the second arm 42, as a single unit, pivot about the axis of the support pin 56 (see FIG. 9). As a result, the abutting plate 41C of the first arm 41 pushes the intake valve 22, thus opening the intake opening 18 of the intake port 16. Similarly, when the exhaust cam 21A pushes the roller 43 of the rocker arm 40 following the rotation of the exhaust cam shaft 21, the first arm 41 and the second arm 42, as a single unit, pivot about the axis of the support pin 56. As a result, the abutting plate 41C of the first arm 41 pushes the exhaust valve 20, thus opening the exhaust opening 17 of the exhaust port 14.

[0068] When the connection switch pin 66 is switched to the non-connected state, the connection between the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 by the connecting pin 60B and the connecting pin 62 is disconnected (see FIG. 7). The second arm 42 becomes pivotable relative to the first arm 41 (see FIG. 10). When the intake cam 23A pushes the roller 43 following the rotation of the intake cam shaft 23, the second arm 42 pivots about the axis of the support pin 56 while the first arm 41 does not pivot (see FIG. 11). Therefore, the abutting plate 41C of the first arm 41 will not push the intake valve 22, and the intake opening 18 remains closed by the intake valve 22. Similarly, when the exhaust cam 21A pushes the roller 43 following the rotation of the exhaust cam shaft 21, the second arm 42 pivots about the axis of the support pin 56 while the first arm 41 does not pivot. Therefore, the abutting plate 41C of the first arm 41 will not push the exhaust valve 20, and the exhaust opening 17 remains closed by the exhaust valve 20. Thus, in the present embodiment, one or more of a plurality of cylinders can be brought to the inoperative state by switching the connection switch pin 66 to the non-connected state. For example, by making one or more cylinders inoperative while the load is small, it is possible to improve the fuel efficiency.

[0069] As described above, with the internal combustion engine 10 according to the present embodiment, the support member 35 that pivotally supports the rocker arm 40 is not only inserted into the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12 but is also secured inside the hole 37 by the ball plunger 39. While the internal combustion engine 10 is running, the cam 21A, 23A repeatedly presses the rocker arm 40, and a load in the axial direction is repeatedly generated on the support member 35. However, since the support member 35 is secured inside the hole 37 by the ball plunger 39, it is possible to prevent the support member 35 from rising from the hole 37. Therefore, it is possible to prevent fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member 35.

[0070] With the internal combustion engine 10, when the support member 35 is pushed into the hole 37, the support member 35 is inserted into the hole 37 and is then secured inside the hole 37 by the elastic force of the spring 39A of the ball plunger 39. With the internal combustion engine 10 according to the present embodiment, there is no need for an operation of securing the support member 35 to the cylinder head 12 by using screws, bolts, or the like. This makes the installment of the support member 35 easy.

[0071] Thus, with the internal combustion engine 10 according to the present embodiment, it is possible to prevent fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member 35 while maintaining the ease of installment of the support member 35.

[0072] Now, where the support member 35 is a member that can contract/expand in the axial direction, such as a lash adjuster, the position of the rocker arm 40 changes following the contraction/expansion of the support member 35. For example, when the support member 35 expands, the rocker arm 40 moves toward the cam 21A, 23A (upward in FIG. 3). As a result, the position of the pivot center of the second arm 42 moves toward the cam 21A, 23A. On the other hand, since the position of the cam 21A, 23A does not change, the contact position between the roller 43 and the cam 21A, 23A does not change. Therefore, if the support member 35 expands when the rocker arm 40 is in the non-connected state, the second arm 42 may not be able to return to the position where the hole 50 and the hole 46A, 46B are aligned with each other (the position shown in FIG. 7). Then, it is possible that the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 may not be properly connected together by the connecting pin 60B and the connecting pin 62, and the connecting function of the rocker arm 40 may possibly lower. However, in the present embodiment, the support member 35, as opposed to a lash adjuster, cannot expand/contract in the axial direction. The rocker arm 40 does not move toward the cam 21A, 23A. Therefore, it is possible to prevent the lowering of the connecting function of the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 of the rocker arm 40.

[0073] Although there is no limitation on the securing member for securing the support member 35 inside the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12, the present embodiment comprises the ball plunger 39, which includes the spring 39A arranged inside the support member 35, and the ball 39C at least a portion of which is arranged outside the support member 35. Therefore, the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact. By appropriately setting the spring constant, etc., of the spring 39A, the ease of operation of inserting the support member 35 into the hole 37 and the prevention of the rise of the support member 35 can be realized in a well-balanced manner.

[0074] With the internal combustion engine 10 according to the present embodiment, the groove 37a that engages with the ball 39C of the ball plunger 39 is formed on the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12. Thus, when the support member 35 is inserted into the hole 37, the ball 39C engages with the groove 37a, and the support member 35 is even less likely to rise. Therefore, the ease of installment of the support member 35 and the prevention of fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member 35 can be both realized at a high level.

[0075] In the present embodiment, the groove 37a has the sloped surface 37b (see FIG. 13). Since the groove 37a has the sloped surface 37b, the ball 39C of the ball plunger 39 is unlikely to come out of the groove 37a, and the support member 35 is even less likely to rise. Therefore, it is possible to even better prevent fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member 35.

[0076] In the present embodiment, the groove 37a is a cone-shaped or circular columnar-shaped groove having the axis 13c that is inclined relative to the center line 37c of the hole 37. According to the present embodiment, the groove 37a can be machined by inserting the tool 13 such as a drill or an endmill into the hole 37 from outside the hole 37. Therefore, the groove 37a can be formed in a simple and inexpensive manner.

[0077] Note that while the groove 37a may be formed only at one point in the circumferential direction of the hole 37, it may be formed in a circumferential pattern (see the phantom line in FIG. 13). Where the groove 37a is formed only at one point in the circumferential direction of the hole 37, if the position at which the groove 37a is machined is shifted in the circumferential direction, the position at which the support member 35 is attached in the circumferential direction may possibly be shifted. However, where the groove 37a is formed in a circumferential pattern, the position at which the support member 35 is attached in the circumferential direction is prevented from being shifted. Therefore, even if the machining precision of the groove 37a is relatively low, it is possible to properly machine the groove 37a. Thus, the groove 37a can be formed in a simple and inexpensive manner.

[0078] While one embodiment of the present invention has been described above, it is needless to say that the present invention is not limited to this embodiment. Next, examples of alternative embodiments will be described. First, an example of an alternative embodiment employing a different configuration of the securing member will be described.

[0079] With the internal combustion engine 10 according to an alternative embodiment shown in FIG. 14, the securing member is the ball plunger 39 including the spring 39A and the spring seat 39B that are arranged inside the cylinder head 12, and the ball 39C at least a portion of which is arranged inside the hole 37. The spring 39A is a compression coil spring, wherein one end of the spring 39A is connected to the spring seat 39B and the other end thereof is connected to the ball 39C. A groove 35a that engages with the ball 39C is formed on the outer circumferential surface of the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35. Note however that the groove 35a is not always necessary and may be omitted. In the present embodiment, the ball 39C, the spring seat 39B and the spring 39A correspond to the "first contact portion", the "second contact portion" and the "elastic portion", respectively.

[0080] Also in the present embodiment, the support member 35 can be secured inside the hole 37 by the ball plunger 39 simply by inserting the support member 35 into the hole 37. It is possible to prevent fretting wear, or the like, due to rising of the support member 35 while maintaining the ease of installment of the support member 35. It is possible to prevent the lowering of the connecting function of the rocker arm 40. By appropriately setting the spring constant, etc., of the spring 39A, the ease of operation of inserting the support member 35 into the hole 37 and the prevention of the rising of the support member 35 can be realized in a well-balanced manner. According to the present embodiment, there is no need to install the ball plunger 39 inside the support member 35, and it is possible to increase the degree of freedom in the position of installment of the securing member.

[0081] As shown in FIG. 15A and FIG. 15B, with the internal combustion engine 10 according to an alternative embodiment, the securing member is a snap ring 139 fitted to the support member 35. In the present embodiment, a groove 35F is formed on the outer circumferential surface of the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35, and the snap ring 139 is fitted to the groove 35F. The groove 37a that engages with the snap ring 139 is formed on the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12. Note, however, that the groove 37a is not always necessary and may be omitted. When the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35 is inserted into the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12, the snap ring 139 is pressed by the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 so as to elastically deform radially inward. In other words, the radius of the snap ring 139 decreases. By the elastic force generated following the deformation of the snap ring 139, the support member 35 is pressed against the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 with the snap ring 139 therebetween. Thus, the support member 35 is secured inside the hole 37. According to the present embodiment, the securing member is the snap ring 139, and therefore the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact.

[0082] As shown in FIG. 16, the snap ring 139 may be fitted to the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12 so that the snap ring 139 serves as the securing member for securing the support member 35. In the present embodiment, a groove 37F is formed on the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37, and the securing member is the snap ring 139 fitted into the groove 37F. The groove 35F that engages with the snap ring 139 is formed on the outer circumferential surface of the support member 35. Note, however, that the groove 35F is not always necessary and may be omitted. In the present embodiment, when the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35 is inserted into the hole 37, the snap ring 139 elastically deforms radially outward by being pressed by the outer circumferential surface of the support member 35. In other words, the radius of the snap ring 139 increases. By the elastic force generated following the deformation of the snap ring 139, the support member 35 is pressed against the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 with the snap ring 139 therebetween. Thus, the support member 35 is secured inside the hole 37. Also in the present embodiment, the securing member is the snap ring 139, and therefore the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact.

[0083] As shown in FIG. 17A and FIG. 17B, with the internal combustion engine 10 according to an alternative embodiment, the securing member is a ring-shaped coil spring 239 wound around the support member 35. In the present embodiment, the groove 35F is formed on the outer circumferential surface of the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35, and the ring-shaped coil spring 239 is fitted to the groove 35F. The groove 37a that engages with the coil spring 239 is formed on the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12. Note, however, that the groove 37a is not always necessary and may be omitted. When the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35 is inserted into the hole 37, the ring-shaped coil spring 239 elastically deforms radially inward by being pressed by the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37. By the elastic force generated following the deformation of the coil spring 239, the support member 35 is pressed against the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 with the coil spring 239 therebetween. Thus, the support member 35 is secured inside the hole 37. According to the present embodiment, the securing member is the ring-shaped coil spring 239, and therefore the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact.

[0084] As shown in FIG. 18, the ring-shaped coil spring 239 may be fitted to the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 so that the coil spring 239 serves as the securing member for securing the support member 35. In the present embodiment, the groove 37F is formed on the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37, and the securing member is the ring-shaped coil spring 239 fitted to the groove 37F. The groove 35F that engages with the coil spring 239 is formed on the outer circumferential surface of the support member 35. Note, however, that the groove 35F is not always necessary and may be omitted. In the present embodiment, when the shaft portion 35A of the support member 35 is inserted into the hole 37, the ring-shaped coil spring 239 elastically deforms radially outward by being pressed by the outer circumferential surface of the support member 35. By the elastic force generated following the deformation of the coil spring 239, the support member 35 is pressed against the inner circumferential surface of the hole 37 with the coil spring 239 therebetween. Thus, the support member 35 is secured inside the hole 37. Also in the present embodiment, the securing member is the ring-shaped coil spring 239, and therefore the securing member can be configured to be simple and compact.

[0085] As shown in FIG. 19, the securing member may be a leaf spring 339 secured to the edge of the hole 37 of the cylinder head 12. Herein, the leaf spring 339 is secured to the cylinder head 12 by a pin 340. The leaf spring 339 is formed with a hole 339d through which the support member 35 passes. The edge of the hole 339d of the leaf spring 339 is a first contact portion 339a that contacts the support member 35. A portion of the leaf spring 339 that is supported by the pin 340 is a second contact portion 339b that contacts the cylinder head 12 with the pin 340 therebetween. A portion between the first contact portion 339a and the second contact portion 339b is an elastic portion 339c. According to the present embodiment, the securing member is the leaf spring 339, and therefore the securing member can be configured to be simple.

[0086] In the embodiment described above, the first arm 41 is configured so as not to be in contact with the cam 21A, 23A. In the embodiment described above, the valve 20, 22 is brought to the inoperative state by switching the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 of the rocker arm 40 to the non-connected state. However, the first arm 41 may have a contact portion that contacts the cam 21A, 23A after the second arm 42 starts pivoting as the roller 43 is pushed by the cam 21A, 23A. In such a case, it is possible to change the timing with which the valve 20, 22 is opened and closed by switching the first arm 41 and the second arm 42 to the non-connected state. Thus, it is possible to change the period in which the valve 20, 22 is open. For example, by elongating the period in which the valve 20, 22 is open when the speed of the internal combustion engine 10 is high, it is possible to improve the performance at a high engine speed.

[0087] In the embodiment described above, the internal combustion engine 10 is a multi-cylinder engine. However, the internal combustion engine 10 may be a single-cylinder engine with which it is possible to change the timing with which the valve 20, 22 is opened/closed.

[0088] In the embodiment described above, the internal combustion engine 10 includes a variable valve mechanism. That is, the rocker arm 40 includes the first arm 41, and the second arm 42 pivotally supported on the first arm 41. The internal combustion engine 10 includes the connection switch pin 66 as a connecting mechanism that removably connects the first arm 41 and the second arm 42. However, the internal combustion engine 10 may not include a variable valve mechanism. The connecting mechanism may be omitted. The second arm 42 may be formed integral with the first arm 41, and the rocker arm 40 may be a single-piece member. The internal combustion engine 10 may be unable to bring the valve 20, 22 to the inoperative state, and may be configured unable to change the timing with which the valve 20, 22 is opened/closed.

[0089] The terms and expressions used herein are used for explanation purposes and should not be construed as being restrictive. It should be appreciated that the terms and expressions used herein do not eliminate any equivalents of features illustrated and mentioned herein, but include various modifications falling within the claimed scope of the present invention. The present invention may be embodied in many different forms. The present disclosure is to be considered as providing examples of the principles of the invention. These examples are described herein with the understanding that such examples are not intended to limit the present invention to preferred embodiments described herein and/or illustrated herein. Hence, the present invention is not limited to the preferred embodiments described herein. The present invention includes any and all preferred embodiments including equivalent elements, modifications, omissions, combinations, adaptations and/or alterations as would be appreciated by those skilled in the art on the basis of the present disclosure. The limitations in the claims are to be interpreted broadly based on the language included in the claims and not limited to examples described in the present specification or during the prosecution of the application.

REFERENCE SIGNS LIST



[0090] 5: Automobile (vehicle), 10: Internal combustion engine, 12: Cylinder head (cylinder member), 14: Exhaust port, 16: Intake port, 20: Exhaust valve, 21: Exhaust cam shaft, 21A: Exhaust cam, 22: Intake valve, 23: Intake cam shaft, 23A: Intake cam, 35: Support member, 37: Hole, 37a: Groove, 37b: Sloped surface, 39: Ball plunger (plunger mechanism), 39A: Spring, 39C: Ball (presser), 40: Rocker arm, 41: First arm, 41C: Abutting plate (abutting portion), 41S: Supported portion, 42: Second arm, 43: Roller (pressed portion), 66: Connection switch pin (connecting mechanism), 139: Snap ring, 239: Coil spring, 339: Leaf spring


Claims

1. An internal combustion engine comprising:

a cylinder member formed with a hole;

a port formed in the cylinder member;

a valve that is installed in the cylinder member and that opens/closes the port;

a cam shaft rotatably supported on the cylinder member;

a cam provided on the cam shaft;

a columnar support member at least a portion of which is inserted into the hole of the cylinder member;

a rocker arm that includes a supported portion pivotally supported on the support member, a pressed portion pressed by the cam, and an abutting portion that abuts on the valve; and

a securing member that includes a first contact portion that contacts the support member, a second contact portion that contacts the cylinder member, and an elastic portion interposed between the first contact portion and the second contact portion, wherein the securing member secures the support member inside the hole.


 
2. The internal combustion engine according to claim 1, wherein the securing member is a plunger mechanism that includes a spring arranged inside the support member, and a presser at least a portion of which is arranged outside the support member and that is connected to the spring.
 
3. The internal combustion engine according to claim 1, wherein the securing member is a snap ring that is fitted to the support member.
 
4. The internal combustion engine according to claim 1, wherein the securing member is a ring-shaped coil spring that is wound around the support member.
 
5. The internal combustion engine according to any one of claims 2 to 4, wherein a groove that engages with the securing member is formed on an inner surface of the hole of the cylinder member.
 
6. The internal combustion engine according to claim 5, wherein in a cross-section that passes through a part of the groove and that includes a center line of the hole, the groove has a sloped surface that is inclined relative to the center line of the hole so as to come closer to the center line of the hole while extending toward the rocker arm along a direction of the center line of the hole.
 
7. The internal combustion engine according to claim 5 or 6, wherein the groove is a cone-shaped or circular columnar-shaped groove having an axis that is inclined relative to the center line of the hole.
 
8. The internal combustion engine according to any one of claims 5 to 7, wherein:

the hole and the support member are each formed in a circular columnar shape; and

the groove is a circumferential groove formed on an inner circumferential surface of the hole.


 
9. The internal combustion engine according to claim 1, wherein the securing member is a plunger mechanism that includes a spring arranged inside the cylinder member, and a presser at least a portion of which is arranged inside the hole of the cylinder member and that is connected to the spring.
 
10. The internal combustion engine according to claim 1, wherein the securing member is a snap ring that is fitted to an inner surface of the hole of the cylinder member.
 
11. The internal combustion engine according to claim 1, wherein the securing member is a ring-shaped coil spring that is fitted to an inner surface of the hole of the cylinder member.
 
12. The internal combustion engine according to claim 1, wherein the securing member is a leaf spring that is secured to an edge of the hole of the cylinder member.
 
13. The internal combustion engine according to any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein:

the rocker arm includes a first arm that includes the supported portion and the abutting portion, and a second arm that includes the pressed portion and is pivotally connected to the first arm; and

a connecting mechanism that removably connects the first arm and the second arm; and

the support member is configured to be unable to expand/contract in an axial direction of the support member.


 
14. A vehicle comprising the internal combustion engine according to any one of claims 1 to 13.
 




Drawing

















































REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description