I feel like such a bonehead. I deserve to have all my mechanic's tools taken away from me. I spend about 3 afternoons working on this problem. I had the main fuse box torn apart, I took the bottom section of the dash off to trace wires, to see if anything was pinched or rubbing. All in the name of not having to pay an auto-electrician 80 bucks an hour to fix it for me. Just a couple hours ago, i was giving it one last shot, and I finally found the problem. I bought a brand new multi-meter (my old one doesn't measure ma). I didn't know how much current it was drawing so I flipped it first to amps to make sure i wouldn't fry my shiny new meter, and got a 5 amp reading, and that when all the fun began. Today I had everything apart, and was still getting screwed up results from my troubleshooting attempts. I just said screw it, flipped the meter to ma put it between the negative lead and the battery terminal and BAM, 30 ma, about right where I'd expect it to be. Why that &*^*&^?* meter read 5 amps instead of .03 amps I'll never know. Turns out there appears to be nothing wrong with my car or its charging system. The previous battery may have been bad because it was with that battery that I realized my alternator was bad. The alt . may have screwed it up. It took several days for the battery to drain, which also tells me there was no 5 amp draw. So I'm going to let it sit, and try to start it on Sunday. I feel so foolish for ever doubting my faithful little celica.
oh and I lost my password, which is why my username is different. I re-registered