That location should be fine. If there was a problem with that cable, the starter wouldn't even crank the engine. Since the starter works, you know the negative battery cable on the intake manifold is okay.
Start by looking in the areas you were working to see if a sensor became unplugged, a vacuum hose got cracked or disconnected, or anything like that. Double-check the spark plug wires to be sure they're in the right order. Check for air leaks in the fresh air tube between the mass air flow sensor and the throttle body. Any air that sneaks in that isn't measured won't get any fuel to go with it.
If you still haven't found the problem, try returning the negative cable to where it was bolted before. I suspect it will still run poorly, but at least that will prove the cable's location isn't the cause of the problem. If it DOES run better, that would be weird, but then I'd be looking for a rusted-off ground strap between the engine and body.
Sunday, October 2nd, 2011 AT 6:28 PM