This is just a guess but it sounds like the negative battery cable is bad. You won't get anywhere near enough current to run the starter motor, and if the engine IS running, the generator's charging current will have to find an alternate path to get back to the battery. That would certainly overheat a small diameter wire. If that wire is overheating when trying to start the engine, that also indicates the starter current can't make it through the large ground cable and is trying to go through that tiny wire.
Monday, December 31st, 2012 AT 8:05 PM