I posted this in my thread on Yotatech but that's much less traffic over there and I need some input ASAP.
So I have my 87 4Runner project. Just installed a new engine, got everything set up and quadruple checked all connections, wires. It started fine and I drove it for about a week after without a single issue. Starts every time, no sign of a weak starter, battery is brand new.
Go to the gym on Friday night after driving for 5 minutes or so (starter showed no issue with weak contacts or low battery) leave it sitting for the hour I'm in the gym - come out and its drained. Lights work, starter has contact because it attempts to spin the engine but can't do it fast enough to start the engine.
I didn't have a chance to look at it in depth until yesterday. I took the starter out and replaced contacts, that didn't fix it. In fact, as soon as I reconnected the battery I got smoke from under the hood from the opposite side of the engine compartment from the starter
My power steering hose has worn through the foam insulator and through the rubber hose down to metal. That part was laying directly on a hard line for the PS reservoir and the line was getting EXTREMELY hot anytime the battery was connected. Heres a pic, I covered the affected areas with electrical tape but I think the damage has been done
So, my technical question is - does it make sense that since the engine is grounded through the main ground wire by the A/C compressor and one by the PS mount on the engine that a worn-through PS line would create a bridge that would draw off my battery and get it hot as hell? Do I need to replace the PS line and that should fix it? Or have I opened a can of worms?