First, let me admit that I'm probably going to Hell for not running an old 1997 Lincoln Town Car for about 2 years, and just letting it sit in the driveway.
That said, here's the deal. As mentioned, the car has not been run (or even started) for about 2 years. It was used daily up until then. I bought it for a whopping $1 from my previous employer and it ran just fine, but needed a few other things done to it. I bought it as a tinkering project. I tried to start and run it at least a few times a month. Up until a couple years ago.
So now I have someone interested in paying me $700 for it. (Yes, that would be 700x what I paid for it so I figure, what an great return on my money!)
I went to it a few days ago and obviously it was totally dead. I expected that. The battery has been hooked up all this time. The battery is about 4 years old, with an 84-month warranty, but I have a feeling the sitting for 2 years probably did a number on it. I initially tried to charge it with a charger (about 30 hours at a 2amp charge), and it looks like it's holding somewhat of a charge, but when I try to turn it over, I don't even get a click of the starter. Haven't looked at the headlights while I do it. The dome lights are on when I open the door, and the digital dash comes on, so the battery is not dead.
I did disconnect the battery and jumper another car to the dead car's electrical system using the wires that went to the battery. The dome lights were then much brighter. When I turned the key, I could then hear the solenoid in the starter click but no turning over. One other variable - I had disconnected the starter about 6 months ago with the idea of possibly using it as a spare part, but decided not to, since it's very rusty and I have no idea how old it is. I re-connected it a couple days ago.
So in my mind, I'm thinking I probably need a new battery, and either have a bad connection at the hot battery terminal of the starter (which I also see corrosion on the braided wire going into the starter), or the starter for some reason took this opportunity to also go out. Like I say, it worked fine up until I stopped starting the car. And I never had an issue with it starting before that.
So my question is do you think I need a battery and starter? (Maybe some other variable to check?) Would just aging cause the corrosion on the starter to deteriorate? I don't mind putting $150 into the repair but before I put much more into it, I'll just donate it to a charity.
By the way, I do see 12 volts at the always-hot lead of the starter so wiring seems ok.