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Discussion Starter #1
I drove my 1975 (74.5) Spider in the rain last Saturday. It was a nice long drive ending up with my car being completely soaked. Upon trying to start it Sunday, at first the fuel pump was getting plenty of electric current, as the red light was bright, then turning the ignition further over, everything went dead. Completely black. I checked the battery and connections. I tried jumping the car with another. Even with the added power of a second battery, it barely turned over and acted completely dead.

So, there is some short between the battery and starter motor, I think. Seems like this happens every year. Sometimes, drying or wiggling things around solves it. Other times, it has a mind of its own and just will not respond.

This car gets a new battery (in trunk) every year. I have bought new and then rebuilt the alternator in the past two years to try and find my slow electrical drainage problem. I have checked the voltage regulator (changed from internal to external). Now, water puddle death.

Any thoughts?
 

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When you say everything goes dead, does that mean that the lights go out? If so, you have either a bad battery, a high resistance connection at the battery or the starter motor sticks and draws enough current to drag down the 12 vots to everything else. If the lights stay bright but the engine will not crank, then check the big electrical connection at the starter motor and the ground strap between the engine/transmission and the car body.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I mean everything goes dead. The lights go out. The fuel pump stops working and the electrical connection is like there is no battery. The battery remains fully charged and attached, but there is no electrical activity. If I attempt to jump start the car from another running vehicle, and leave the connection for a hour or more, I get a return of the fuel pump running but a very weak turn over of the engiine for a couple cranks, but too slow to start the motor.

So the ignition switch turn, goes from everything normal to a completely dead vehicle nearly instantly.
 

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Remove, clean & secure every electrical connection in the circuit between the battery & starter (all positive and negative connections). Do not assume they are good because they look OK and feel tight - remove, clean & secure. All it takes is one iffy connection (or, more likely a number of semi-iffy connections) to make your car act like you describe. After cleaning I like to apply a smear of di-electric grease to the cleaned areas before re-connecting the cable. It helps to stave off corrosion.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Four days in a dry garage, and the Spider starts on the first turn over, with a re-attached battery. So, again the mysterious current drain, complete shorted out starter motor problem disappears. This makes finding this short location even more difficult because now it doesn't exist again. At least it self-corrects. All I did was wiggle the main bus line from the battery running forward. I wiggled the red line coming off the alternator. I jacked the car up twice and let it drop (passenger jacking spot).

But, what happens if I drive it somewhere, like to Chicago or Lexington (AROC) and then it rains? I have to find a dry garage for four days? This problem happens about three or more times every driving season. Just when you start trusting the car, it happens.

I disconnected the positive terminal to the battery. It won't drain any more juice the rest of this week.
 
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