In reality, torque is torque and the 8V-71N with 65 injectors only puts out 800lb/ft. No matter how many gears you have, you're going to slow down on the grades. What a 10 speed will do is allow you to select from more gears to go up the hill, but at best may increase your hill climbing by 5-10 mph (and that's being very optimistic). What would serve you better would be to either turbo your engine (more or less a complete overhaul for full turboing) or install a 6V-92TA with 350hp and 1050lb/ft of torque. That 4 speed is rated at a minimum of 1200lb/ft capacity.
I am most likely going to have Don Fairchild in Bakersfield install a smoke turbo with a one injector increase from 65 to 70's. What we're going to do is I am going to have a custom air to air intercooler made (13" of space in front of the radiator), Don will pull the two piece pistons and replace the rings with turbo style rings (but keeping the same two piece pistons at the higher 18.7 to one compression ratio), install a waste gated turbo and keep the boost around 6-8 lbs (instead of 25-28 lbs on a full turbo). I figure this will increase my power from 318hp to about 350hp and the torque from 800lb/ft to about 1000lb/ft. But most importantly will maintain that power in high altitudes without smoking (the politically correct thing to do) since any black smoke is fuel wasted rather than turned into power. Besides, how many hills have you gone up with the bus slowly loosing speed (just doesn't fall on its' face right away-compared to trucks that slow down quickly to grind up the hill) to find yourself having to go up with the trucks about half way up? Personally I know just a little more power would maintain the speed. Will keep you posted, but not going to do this till the end of the year when it is cooler in Bakersfield. Good Luck, TomC
Tom; Can you glive me a phone number or business name for Don Fairchild? I have not located my oil leak forward side of the blower yet,
but if it gets serious, I may need some place to take my coach. Thanks, Merle. (MC-7) I live in Lancaster