Sullair 185 Construction Compressor

Published Categorized as Sullair 16 Comments on Sullair 185 Construction Compressor

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Over the years there have been many questions posed on this forum page about Sullair compressors, with many of them being about the Sullair 185 construction compressor. Since there is a lot of interest in this particular model of Sullair, this is now the forum page for the Sullair 185 construction compressor.

All existing questions and response about the Sullair 185 construction compressor have been moved to this forum. A good first step in resolving and issue with the 185 is to reviewe the existing questions and answers. Odds are good that your question has already been answered.

As I say, this forum page is to do only with the Sullair 185 construction compressor and questions posted about any other model  cannot be published here. If your Sullair compressor model is different, please use the general Sullair tow-behind forum on this page.

Sullair 185 construction compressor

The logical first step to finding an answer to a Sullair 185 Construction Compressor problem is, of course, Sullair themselves.

In North America, Sullair compressors can be reached here:

Sullair, World Headquarters
3700 East Michigan Boulevard
Michigan City, IN 46360

This page is for folks that, so far, have not been able to resolve an issue with the Sullair 185 construction compressor by themselves, and want to reach out to the user community for help.

If you are a user of the Sullair 185 and you have a moment to spare, please have a look at the questions and – where possible – offer advice. That would be a great help for the original poster and other Sullair 185 air compressor users too.

Feel free to download this Sullair 185 specification sheet .

Thanks much to all the questioners and to all those that help providing the answers needed.


Existing Sullair 185 construction compressor questions:

Sullair 185 3 flashes from SSAM

Have a 2005 Sullair 185 compressor. John Deere turbo diesel engine. Getting 3 flashes from the SSAM

Sullair 185 low oil warning

Low engine oil pressure alarm went off and compressor died

Sullair 185 keeps shutting down

Starts up great when cold and begins to build pressure up to 120 psi max

New comment? New question? Please add it here along with photos to help others help you with your compressor and equipment problem!

By Aidan Weeks

A passionate Mechanical Engineer with endless enthusiasm for fluid power - building off the back of over 18 years of high quality contribution and discussion stimulated by Bill Wade here at About Air Compressors. With both practical and theoretical experience in pneumatics and hydraulics, I'm putting my knowledge to work - and working my grey-matter through my research, assistance and publishing work here at About Air Compressors. Feel free to reach out any time! P.S. A HUGE shout out to Doug who really offers such great value to all visitors to About Air Compressors - once again, feeling like I'm standing on the shoulders of GIANTS by getting to work alongside such a great community

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I have older 185 compresser towable runs great, low hrs, worked great. Didn’t use it for a couple of years now runs great, push button to make air pressure engine idle up but stops at 40psi, will not go to 120 psi?

Please anyone know about my problems

First, it’s only rated for 100PSI, 125 maximum.
What pressure is it at while idling?
Your blow down or minimum pressure valve might be stuck open.
Then there’s the stuff attached below.

I have the same problem, did you figure out what the issue was?

It’s a sullair 185. When I push the button in to start the govener with the air hose attached clicks and and won’t let the starter turn the engine over wondering what the issue could be?

Uhm, are you saying it will start without the hose?

I have an older Sullair 185cfm . Runs great however will not idle down once air compressor button pressed. Runs and builds pressure but when air valve off- engine keeps at high rpm and Air leaks out at a check valve?

Don’t know how old it is, but this may apply, if you know where your regulator module is:

Thanks for the info Doug, I will look into this

Hi Brian, I am having similar issue with 185. Starts and runs full throttle bypassing air out valve. I cannot see what you shared. If anyone can assist, much appreciated

Check this.

Screenshot from 2021-05-13 00-12-20.png

I have a sullair 185 DPQ JD that keeps pushing oil out the spin on filter and yes it is tight. i have used ATF in the pass for fluid and that is what i put in it after changing the separator filter. what would cause so much pressure ?

(Question moved to the Sullair 185 page. Moderator)

Anyway, is the SSAM telling you anything?
I’d R&R the filter, double checking for debris, and that the old gasket isn’t there where ought not to be.

The pump intake/unloader valve should be closed at that point. Is it?

I have a Sullair 185 that is blowing white smoke. It is running at 115 PSI and all fluids are good. Any ideas?

That usually indicates a blown head gasket or cracked head.
A decent diesel mechanic should be able to verify and fix it.