1998 Ford Escort Power Drain Problem..HELP???

Recently my 1998 Ford Escort Wagon is showing these symptoms.
After a few minutes of driving, I notice it is not getting good acceleration. Also noticed my speedometer does not work any more when
this happens. The lights, radio went dead and the windshield wipers move very slow. The battery then drains and the car turns off. I have to boost the battery to turn on the car. It then runs fine for a bit, and then same problem.
Anyone know what problem could be?
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Sounds like the alternator is not putting out enough voltage and you're running off battery.
Run the car and test the voltage between the two battery posts, if the alternator is good should be in the neighborhood from about 14 to 14.5v.
If you're handy google how to rebuild the alternator with new brushes, or get a new one.
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Hello, I will get the meter out and test.
I should mention, that yesterday, the Spark Plug Wires were changed. Not sure if this would have anything to do with the issue.
Thanks for the response
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

After fixing the problem, invest in a cigar lighter plug-in voltmeter gauge from one of the auto parts 'chain' stores ot the one sold at Wal-Mart for $15 (equus 3721), and you won't be in the dark about the charging system.
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guys guys !slow down ,of course the symptoms do lead to alternator problems but lets not first rule out the easier things to check ie,the battery terminals? then the earth straps etc.
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Battery Terminals already cleaned out. Did not get the right alternator today, so have to wait till tommorow. I suspected the alternator from the beginning, but the linked post below threw me off (may need to copy/paste url in your browser....it lists the exact same symptoms as mine, with Alternator and Battery BOTH changed..with still same symptoms showing up for the individual..unfortunately, the post did not have a solution listed for the problem)
http://groups.google.ca/group/alt.autos.ford/browse_frm/thread/11e93fe62543b41d/7adf54df13b7e07a?lnk=gst&q=power+drain&rnum=1&hl=en#7adf54df13b7e07a
Anyway, I will try to change alternator tommorow and hope for the best. Thanks for all your replies.
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Just replaced the alternator. Initial test indicates battery is charging and no drop in Voltage once warmed. Looks like alternator was the problem. Keeping fingers crossed :)
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When I press the gas to go in my car. The car will hestitate and then go. My engine light came on? What wrong?
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The best clue is in the diagnostic trouble codes the "check engine" light is saying are set - that's the purpose of the light. In many areas the chain auto parts stores will read the codes for free in hopes of getting your business for parts to fix the problem. Call around and get the codes read (they will always be "P" followed by four digits. Then we can make intelligent guesses.
Mike
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Same Problem in a 1998 escort I worked on, found out it was a bad ground. I ended up replacing the grounds from the battery and cleaned the area with a wire brush. I've also had this problem on a fiero I once owned.
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