rod sage turbo charger

I have customers with a very bad experience on the turbo charger. The engine suffered a failure of the drive shaft. It was removed and sent bact to Rod. The shaft was replaced. About 50 hrs later the pulley started slipping. I removed the assy and found that the drive teeth had all sheared off. There was a service letter put out by Rod Sage that the drive shaft was made of inferior material. The drive coupler from the mag to the unit was found to have had the bushing come loose from the first failure of the drive gear. In conversation with Rod. He agreed that if the owners wished to remove the system he would by back all the parts in an honest effort to right a wrong. The oil filter was removed and looked like glitter throughout the entire filter. Subquently the cost of engine teardown, prop overhaul, prop governor was in excess of 36,000.00. Rod refuse to help out and then refused all contact about the issue. Did not keep his word and product is inferior. I will be ha[[y to provide pictures to anyone who wants them.

Rod Sage doesn’t build turbo chargers.

Yes, this post seems uninformed. If it has a purpose other than denigrating a vendor, it is not clear what that purpose might be. Who are these “customers?”

Apparently the OP is a member. So why is the post in a non-member forum?

Probably wants to spread the vitriol as wide as possible.

My first recommendation to the owners of the aircraft in question is to find a new mechanic. A supercharger shaft shear is a non-event to the rest of the engine. It will not result in oil contamination because engine oil does not come in contact with the shaft of the supercharger. So all the maintenance that was done on this aircraft after the shaft sheared (prop overhaul?) likely had zero to do with the supercharger. It sounds like Rod agreed to honor the warranty on the supercharger parts. It also sounds like these people wanted to squeeze a free engine overhaul from him in the process.

This comes across as a poorly executed hit job on Rod Sage.


Sorry, but this makes no sense to me. I do not believe Rod monitors COPA, so is unlikely able to defend himself. Where is the service letter that says the drive shaft is made of inferior material? I have 800 hours of flight with one supercharger and have not seen this service letter. There have been others experience failed shafts, and Rod has made a couple of design improvements with improved success. However, my theory is that the root cause of those shaft failures is improper torquing of the nut on the end of the big pulley drive shaft, as I have described in a prior post.

My engine was overhauled after 2450 hours with no signs of wear on the drive gears, no pulled jugs, no exhaust work. You associated a mag drive coupler bushing failure with the supercharger, of which I am doubtful. Were the mags IRANed at 500 hours as recommended?

I believe the belt tensioner places much more tension on the 6 ribbed belt than necessary and meassured 90 lbs of force perpendicular to the belt. So I do not understand how the belt could be slipping. The belt is a standard NAPA part #25060338 that costs less than $20, so why not replace it at every annual, a two minute job.


Doug Steen

Another reason to close the guest side.


I’m not convinced Michael has any practical knowledge with what he posted about. He certainly doesn’t seem interested in clarifying his original claims. I fly N730CD. It was the test airplane for the first supercharger installed in an SR22 and that was almost 10 years ago. We now have 2060 hours on the engine and it’s as solid as ever. The simplicity of Rod’s design prevents exactly the kind of issues Michael claims resulted from the super charger shaft shearing. The net effect of a shaft shear is your supercharged airplane just became a normally aspirated airplane. That’s it. It’s not an emergency or even a land as soon as practical issue. In fact, you can simply decide to not replace the shaft and fly your airplane with some extra parts in the engine bay.

Hopefully Michael will return to COPA and clarify exactly what happened to his engine. Rod is a class act. Very quick to answer questions and a genius regarding not only his product but aircraft engines in general. If he’s not paying for an engine overhaul, it’s because he had nothing to do with what precipitated it.

I have had several interactions with Rod and they were always positive. I am not a owner of his system but I have worked on them before. I have considered installing it but it just has not made sense for me yet. Perhaps someday.

Interesting that all this came up today as I was just at Rod’s shop this morning and had breakfast with him. I really like this option and hope to make a decision late winter after my annual. $36k for supercharger v $70k for the TN upgrade is hard to argue against. The Tornado Alley folks told me I would be better off selling my NA and buying a TN vice paying for the TN installation.

I just have to convince my wife that when I am traveling for business I can get home that much faster :slight_smile:

Agreed. Torque procedure is critical during initial installation and cannot be guessed. Using a pull tension meter when applying torque to the nut is fool proof way unless you decide to have a very long lever and don’t reduce your pull calculations for the longer lever moment.