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Help! Smoking Battery....


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howdy folks,
ok here's a wierd one for ya...
went to start my 2001 550 and just got a clicking sound.
pulled the starter and solenoid and seemed to be working fine,
didn't test with a battery or anything.
put everything back together and got nothing. put battery on a
2 amp charger for a half hour. pulled charger tried to start, got nothin.

half hour later, sitting on my deck, heard the mule trying to start itself.
sounded like the starter solenoid was spinning. ran down there and
found the battery smoking, now have dead battery and dead mule.

voltage regulator? something with the altenator?
if anyone out there has any insite please post back.

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I'm NOT an electrical guru...but the unit running the starter by itself says shorted ignition switch. Something has to be completing that circuit and it almost has to be the switch, unless there is a short in the wiring loom somewhere? The Dead battery might also be from a result of it shorting out and trying to start itself. Gotta be a dead short in there somewhere. I'd try testing the switch with a VOM by checking continuity in the different switch positions. Then isolate the the switch functions with some jumpers and see if it will start.

I'd fully charge the battery overnight on a low amp settting. 2 amps should be okay. Then I would try jumping the starter with the battery and some cables to make sure it's functioning. I still think it's the switch.

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