Some applications of hydroformed parts:
Chrysler Corp. started in 1990 with the instrument panel support beam for its minivans. Other current applications include radiator supports for the Ram and Dakota pickups, engine cradle and rear crossmember for the 1998 LH sedans, and the rear fuel tank crossmember and rear shock absorber crossmember on the 1998 Dodge Durango sport-utility.
Ford Motor Co. uses a hydroformed exhaust manifold on the 3.8-liter V-6 engine in the Ford Thunderbird, Mercury Cougar and Ford Mustang, and a hydroformed engine cradle on the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique.
In addition to the Corvette, which also has hydroformed instrument panel support beam and roll hoop, GM uses hydroforming for instrument panel beams on the W-car platform (Chevrolet Lumina and Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, Buick Century and Regal, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme); the engine cradle for the P-90 platform (Chevrolet Malibu, Oldsmobile Cutlass); the engine cradle for the G-car platform (Oldsmobile Aurora, Buick Riviera and Park Avenue); and the A pillar and roof rail on the Buick Park Avenue.
Import automakers are getting interested. Vari-Form has been talking with engineers from Honda, Toyota and Hyundai about possible projects, said Terry Nardone, commercial manager for the supplier.