Sullair 185 diesel will turn over but won’t start

Published Categorized as Air Compressor Won't Start, Sullair 10 Comments on Sullair 185 diesel will turn over but won’t start

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by Kelly
(Butler MO)

Sullair 185 will turn over but compressor won’t start even by spraying a little starting fluid in breather.

Sullair 185 air compressor
Sullair 185 air compressor

Is there a disconnect at compressor so it won’t pump while trying to start?

Starting fluid should at least make it fire shouldn’t it?


Sullair diesel no start
by: Doug in

<<< Starting fluid should at least make it fire shouldn’t it? >>>

Yes, although that’s a dangerous thing to do…

Having said that, sounds like no compression.

The airend should be unloaded during start phase,

If it is cranking, and you feel air going in the intake, then it’s either rings or valves or timing gear. Might also be not enough air into cylinder – check the intake filter, or maybe remove it temporarily to test.

You didn’t let it run dry (fuel), did you?

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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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185 Sullair air compressor diesel tank smells of varnish drained tank cleared lines added fresh fuel seperate container will turn over but not start

Might need to bleed fuel injectors. No fuel in cylinder = no start

This is the same problem I’m having. It’s only got 200 hrs on it. Cat engine… sure would like some answers chris turnbull.

Did it run out of fuel?
What have you checked?

my guys used it and they said they couldn’t get it started so I took it in to get it looked at and they said low compression in 3 cyl they engine is shot I used it week before and it ran fine but it did blow black smoke

I wonder if it had oil…
I woulfn’t be surprised if some rings broke.
Sorry for your loss.
Are you getting it fixed? How much?

I have a 185 with the cat engine and it will not start either. I have replaced the mechanical fuel pump and also the injection pump. it is getting anywhere from 120 to 150 psi of compression on all cylinders. it will not even attempt to start on starting fluid.

Well, you know – air and fuel. Have you bled the fuel system so it’s getting fuel to the cylinders?

Another thing – some of these have an *air* cutoff so they can be stopped in volatile environments. So you should check it’s getting air as well as fuel.

I have a 1998 Ingersoll 185 air compressor with a John Deere. Cranks but no smoke coming grime exhaust. Happened a few times and eventually started and ran like a champ. Til I shut it off.