Thanks for the suggestions and ideas!
Yes, my ultimate goal is to get it running as quickly as possible. No, I do not want to store it for the winter, or for any amount of time for that matter.
2. The battery is fully charged - once I hooked up the battery cables, all lights came on, the automatic seat belts went back into place, the dome lights came on (in fact, they won't go off! but that's another thread).
3. My wife was with the sellers when she attached the battery cables to start it. Immediately, smoke started coming from the alternator - that is when she noticed the alternator and cables were melted. The car did not start or turn over at all.
I tried jumping the starter solenoid - we got a healthy spark, but nothing from the starter. The seller told my wife, it needs a new solenoid but I have no idea on what that diagnosis is based.
Do you know how to test to see if the solenoid is good?
Hope that helps. Looking forward to any suggestions!
Nic in Bham
Nic you already did a Diagnosis Test on the Solenoid...You tried to Jump it and nothing happen....lol....It's Bad....
Get a Rebuilt Starter with a Solenoid...and replace it...
Now I need to get myself clear on something...You said your Wife Connected the Pos + cable, and the Neg - cable to the Battery and the Alternator Wires started to MELT>???
well, melted wires is a sign of heat, which is caused from either a poor or loose connection anywhere in the system, however if the new wire you installed is the weak link, it will show the problem.
Also look for an overloaded system.
Nic I found this site that may be a clue.....Ford F150 4.6 V8 4th alternator this year
you may have a bad rebuilt Alternator..and If it had been sitting for a prolong time it may have seized up...and caused an overload.
"""the dome lights came on (in fact, they won't go off! but that's another thread).""""......I had this problem once....You have a Bad Door Switch, that is sticking...spray them with some WD40....If it does not work...disconnect each one...at a time...to see witch on may be the cause.
Will keep working on this...