This is a bit of a long read and I'm sorry, but it's an interesting story nonetheless, please turn away if you're sensitive to swearing
Backstory on this whole... situation: About 6 weeks ago or so my uncle passed and as part of his estate, we took ownership of his old spare car. a mid 2000's Cadillac CTS. We got it running after a bit of electrical shenanigans, and it's actually been pretty good.
As for the car in the image, it's a 2010 CTS. Story on the car is my friend, who flips shitboxes every few weeks for fun, decided maybe it was time he tried out a Cadillac after he tried out "mine". He found a pretty much fully loaded 2010 CTS a couple hours away in Virginia for about $800. Although that CTS is a different generation than the one I have, the issue it was having was very similar to the one mine was having, so he figured it's probably a similar issue. The owner said he came back from vacation and the car acted like it had no electrical power and wouldn't crank.
The guy sent us his address, we're on our way to the car. As we get closer, we start driving through a very.... not nice area if you catch my drift. And we notice everyone around has pretty decent stereos in their car. So we pull up to the guys house, introduce ourselves, and he mentions that he does car audio out of his house, explaining the stereos that everyone around had.
Body looks really good, interior is mint, only modifications the car had was that it looked like the stock wheels were spraypainted black. I didn't really say anything since this was my friend's deal, but he negotiated the guy down to $600 and we loaded it up on the trailer
Here's where things start to go south
The owner hands us the key to the car in about 4 pieces, and the key fob is pretty much just a circuit board and some electrical tape. So we end up getting the car home at about midnight a couple of nights ago and we pull it into my driveway because I have good lighting and we start tearing into it.
We look around the engine bay, remove the plastic panels that cover pretty much everything in the bay so we can get a good look, and we notice that someone had the strut bar unbolted. I then check the oil and it's completely bone dry on the dipstick. Great start, right?
We continue poking around the engine bay, and notice there are several unpinned or cut connectors just hanging out around the engine bay, and the ECU was just hanging in front of the engine by the belts. We realize that most of the unpinned connectors on the drivers side of the bay are related to the exhaust system and 02 sensors. The owner of the car had removed the center exhaust section (with the cats and etc) so they could replace the starter since they figured that was what the issue was; we guess they didn't realize that there were sensors plugged into the top of the exhaust and just ripped them out, leaving the connectors just dangling there.
Then we move to the passenger side of the bay, and there's several thick gauge wires just hanging out, we figured it went to some of the audio equipment that must have been in the car before. I check the wires with my multimeter and all of the thick wires in the bay were live 12v and just hanging in the engine bay. Behind the strut tower in the passenger side, there were several main harness connectors just chopped and hanging, most also were live 12v. Then we find another thick gauge wire coming up from the alternator for some reason, the guy had something wired to the alternator.
We decide to check the front fuse box, most of the relays and fuses were missing, some of the relays were there were missing their covers like they were smashed, and several of the fuses were blown. We also found that the harness to the ECU had been chopped, spliced back together, and had a thick wire spliced in that also went to the alternator. Also the wired for the OBD2 port were ripped out.
We then move around to the rear of the car since that's where the battery is and the secondary fuse/relay box.
That's right, the block was just hanging behind the panel, also missing a lot of relays/fuses and several harness wires were pulled out of the block. Although not in the pic (we had already fixed it by this point), somebody had installed the absolute cheapest battery terminals they could find and the battery was installed backwards and the battery was covered in audio company stickers.
We fuck around with the car until probably like 3am the other night, basically going through and disconnecting or taping up the live wires that were just laying everywhere and putting spare fuses and relays we had back into the car. We actually got a lot of the electrical system functioning, most of the interior stuff works now, as do the lights, and pretty much everything... except it won't crank unless you bypass the relay and a few other things, we think it's a dead ecu or PCM.
You thought that was the end, huh?
Today we were pulling off a couple of the door panels to try and trace some of the guy's wiring and we came across....
About $300 USD worth of Zambia Dollars for some reason. God, I've definitely bought or worked on some sketchy cars, but this probably takes the cake for me. It felt like I was living through a vinwiki story.