Re: please need engine builder
Actually Leon at A1 is a very honest guy, he really is THAT busy and unless you know him well or are prepared to wait a few months you would need to go elsewhere. Also he won't do any install's or tuning these days.
Personally I haven't had any direct experience myself with Chris Mills, but also have heard more unhappy stories (expensive and the odd failure) than anyone else. Doesn't give me a good vibe.
Have spoken to the guy at Quinnana a few times - Southside Engine Performance - I think they are called, I've had no direct experience with him either but he definately knows his stuff. Have only heard good things about him.
The guy at Quinnana used to work with Gary at Performance Unlimited in Welshpool which are a great outfit. Gary would be one of the best guys in Australia to talk to about Clevo's and my last rebuild was modelled off his advice - they built an identical stroker to mine for a VERY fast Mustang a few months previously - but I didn't get them to do the assembly work for me. Also heard only great things about them.
My last 3 engines have been done by Alan Nylander at AJN Performance Plus Malaga. I've been dealing with him for 15 years. He's honest, reliable and thorough. Only problem I had was a recent valve train failure but I am not in a position to say it was anything he did wrong. At all accounts it just seems like "one of those things". Other 2 motors he did for me I cained mercilessly for 5 years each with no failures and minimal wear when I did subsequent freshen ups. He's probably not up with the latest ideas as far as parts compatability etc goes that is why I sought out the advice of others as well but got Alan to do the assembly work. Also he's not too hot on the idea of doing installs, you will find many of the top guys around Perth will only work on your motor delivered door to door.
Other outfit with a reasonable reputation for quality, and they also do installs if you have to go that way, is Ray Geneve's in Oz Park. I've got most of my dyno tuning done there over the years. Find the old man Ray is good, I'm not so keen on his son's work. Last tune-up they did was pretty average.
My best advice to you is do the install yourself or with the help of a regular mechanic, that way your freed up to go to one of the top guys that just do the rebuilding and assembly. Also will keep your labour costs down that way.
As to cost, it sounds like the sort of project where it would be good to not limit yourself by budget. Personally I would rather go to a quality outfit and just ask them to build it to what I want/need and I just find the money for it even if that means going into a bit of debt for a while.
Also when you say you have all the parts, do you mean also carby, inlet, headers and ignition? Because you will save yourself $ by purchasing these yourself. Generally an engine builder will add some mark-up on these otherwise. New carb these days (BG or Holley 750/850DP), plus large bore headers, plus inlet to suit, plus MSD ignition, dizzy etc is going to set you back about $3000 all up.
(On edit) Just saw your last post whilst I was typing this one. As to going ES why bother? Have you seen the track times clevo's are doing over here compared to the ES? We're blitzing them.