Re: smoked starter confusion
Smoke from a cable indicates excessive resistance. You can't have excessive resistance and expect it to work. That resistance can be inside the cables - even inside the insulation. It can also be right at the connection where the cable attaches to the terminals.
It can be on any cable, either positive or negative cables, even the body to engine ground strap.
Check them all!
One easy way - spray kerosene (WD-40's just kerosene and perfume) on the cables, then crank the starter, or try. The kerosene will get hot and smoke like crazy at the resistance spots.
After it's repaired, wipe off all the WD-40 - it attracts moisture - the can says it repels it - that's not true - try it!