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Discussion Starter #1
The Spider had been sitting thru this winter's 37 degrees and pouring mid-Atlantic rains for several weeks. In a garage, but the dampness prevailed. There were times the concrete floor temperature was below the dew point and water was simply condensing upon contact. Water was dripping off any metal parts that were also below the dew point.

Anyway, I jump in, turn the key, and nada but clicking. Odd, the battery was on trickle charge and the cable connections were clean and tight. I decided to employ the time honored firm rap on the starter, and success! But the success was tempered by a wildly gyrating tach with misfires. No joy. Obviously a ground issue. But where?

I pulled papajam's electrical diagrams, focusing on the starter circuit. A black wire runs from the ignition switch (start position?) to the spade connection on the starter. I decided to clean all connections on the starter. After referring to Houdini's Contortionist's Positions of Absolute Pain, I removed the overflow tank and dove in. Not as bad as I had anticipated, but I wished my arm was about 6" longer. I was able to clean all connections, but cleaning the inside of the female spade connector was a mystery. I ended up blasting with contact cleaner. Anyway, I reassembled, turned the key and VROOM!

The car ran great. In fact, better than before. Additionally, my dash lights went from dull to bright. The tach returned to normal.

THE QUESTION: What the hell (or why the hell) is that black wire (spade connector) so centric to so many systems? A failure in that one wire and the car essentially shuts down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Maybe you bumped another connection and inadvertently improved that connection? There is a medium size red wire also connected to the starter. Lots of electrons flow through that one.
I had all wires off the starter and cleaned. The red ones (big and med size) were easy. They didn't look bad at all. I'm convinced it was that black wire on the spade terminal that was the issue. Any hints on cleaning the female spade terminal other than blowing it out with contact cleaner?
 

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ok, read your post... you forgot 1 thing.. you do not have a starter relay system in your car.. you can make one for less than $15.00.. or you can but a set up from a alfa parts shop for $ 35 to 55 ,, your choice
 

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The black wire is only powered while cranking the starter. Cleaning that can only affect cranking.

If you saw other improvements it was likely the big bolt with the red wires. That’s where the battery, starter, and alternator all connect to each other, and I could see corrosion there causing all sorts of problems.
 
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Any hints on cleaning the female spade terminal other than blowing it out with contact cleaner?
pretty much all there is to it, that and fitting it on/off a few times to scratch the insides a bit cleaner. Oh, and if it feels rather loose on there, you should gently/carefully squeeze it with pliers to make it a firmer fit.

Fit a starter relay as Bianchi suggests....that is the biggest and easiest improvement you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
pretty much all there is to it, that and fitting it on/off a few times to scratch the insides a bit cleaner. Oh, and if it feels rather loose on there, you should gently/carefully squeeze it with pliers to make it a firmer fit.

Fit a starter relay as Bianchi suggests....that is the biggest and easiest improvement you can do.
Enlighten me. A wiring diagram for the inserted starter relay? I don't wish to inadvertently insert another electrical gremlin into the wiring harness.

 
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