Midwest Bayless Engine Rebuild


True Classic
My X spent most of the Summer with Jon at Midwest 124 for a complete engine rebuild. I left it there after the open house earlier this year and picked it up last weekend.
Before I get into the rebuild I’ll give a little background on my X.
I bought the x from an person my father knew from being in the car business all his life about 10 years ago. The car was a former Hilclimb racer from the mid eighties. The mods that were the trick of the day back then were nice but I just knew someday I would get it done right. The 1300 Yugo Head, FAZA 40/80 Cam, Vick’s Header and single 42 DCNF Carb made it very quick but it just didn’t pull past 4500 RPM.
I started the conversation about a new Head with Steve C. late last fall. Not really thinking I would even start messing with the bottom end we worked out the Head Build. After a lot of back and forth meseging during the work the Head was delivered this past winter.
So at first I thought okay I’ll just swap the head out and see what I have. But work seamed to get in the way and I was getting nowhere. That’s when I called Jon at Midwest and he then convinced me that just swapping the Head really wasn’t going to get me what I was looking for. Steve C had said the same previously. So that leads us to today. I’ll list as much info as I can below but I really want to thank Steve C for an awesome Head build and Jon at Midwest 124 for his expertise and attention to detail.
Now I do not have any Dyno numbers but what I can tell you is WOW what a difference. She pulls strong to 6,500 rpm’s through all gears. I haven’t pushed it past that....yet. Okay now for the info.
Steve’s work:
NOS 1300 Euro Head
Big Valves 37.5 intake, 33.4 exhaust.
34/28.5 seat throats
Valve seat cut to performance three angle cut and back profile the inlet valves.
He spent 10 hours to port and polish.
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It’s easier to attatch a list of the work Jon did at Midwest 124

And some more pictures.
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True Classic
It was a long rainy 13 hour round trip to get her back home. Boy was it ever worth the trip.
No it’s not a K20 conversion but it was my best option at upgrading but keeping the costs in line with what the car is worth.
On a side note, I stuck with the 42 DCNF and the FAZA 40/80 Cam.
Today was a great day for a drive in PA. I put a fair amount of very aggressive miles on her today. What a blast.


Waiting for Godot...
Jon runs midwest 124 out of MWB's service area. Matt and Jon shared a building back in the day, so this is like Jake and Elwood getting the band back together.

What it really means to me is good home cooked Italian food at the open house, since Jon's wife handles the menu. Yum! :p


True Classic
Yeah I kind of think of them as one I the same even though they are not.
Must be nice just having to walk across the shop when he needs a part for a build.


Steve Cecchele
Glad your happy with the work I did for you and the overall result.

I guess I can chime in with more info on my part of the job for anyone that wants to know.

Head started life as a NOS late 1300 head, from something like an Uno/Ritmo as it was an M10 bolts size head. New seats were fitted to both intake and exhaust sides (the head was stock seats to suit 36/31 valve sizes) as the valve head size and seat throat size I wanted to use means the stock seats need replacing. The stock cast iron valve guides were retained to keep the costs down.

When we first began discussing this head build, it was made clear this was a budget build. I said the minimum time I could spend on the ports was about 10 hours (about $600aud worth of work) to get a decent percentage increase in flow (about 100CFM - so approx 75% of the max achievable with this combo) any less would fall short, any more time is a diminishing return and only needed if the build is chasing a maximum effort result.

A full P&P runs to about 20 hours of time (add more time for match porting he manifold and any combustion chamber work)... this usually gets intake port flow up around the 130CFM mark (@ 28" of water and 10mm lift) and a port air speed in excess of 300FPS, but has a really good low lift flow coefficient (with over 30% increases in flow in the 2 to 5mm lift range) with this valve / seat throat combination

Exhaust ports were barely touched, in fact only the bowls were worked with the guides still in place. Intake ports had very minor increase in overall size (if you look closely you can still see the casting parting lines at the sides) with the work concentrated in the bowl and turn region and the intake guides ground back flush with the port roof. I didn't flow test the head (budget constraints) but having done similar work I know max flow would be in the 100CFM range...what makes the car feel more driveable though is the additional low lift flow and the additional torque the improved cylinder filling provides.

With the right combination of parts and a single carb setup, a head like this one is good for abut 95 to 100hp at the wheels with 1500cc. Personally I would have gone for more static compression and a different cam choice, but again budget constraints dictated re-using existing parts. I would have a guess at about 85 to 90hp at the wheels, which when you consider the stock european 1500cc engine is 85hp at the crank / 64hp (+- 1) at the wheels, this setup is pushing about 35% more hp/torque than stock European spec and over 50% more Hp than the stock USA Spec.



True Classic
Thanks for the detailed write up Steve. It really has taken the car to another level.
My winter project will involve replacing the front suspension bushings. It’s the last section of the car that hasn’t been touched.
Hope to put many miles and years on the current setup.