yeah, I am going to clean up the connections, although they don't look bad to the eye, but a wire brush and sand paper and a pocket knife go a long way on connectors. every single guage on the thing was inoperable when i bought it and i had to take every connection, one at a time, so far and clean them, and then they have all responded positively (sorry for the pun....), even unscrewed the fuse panel and cleaned the corrosion on the wire connections to get power to guages and lites and switches as well as the corroded connections for those things and their grounds, too. It acted like it was a connection the way it clicked at first when it was going bad, and then just did nothing at all. What I can't understand, though, is how when you tried to start it and it would do nothing, why then did nothing work anywhere? It did this even after i cleaned the cable connection at the pos and neg posts, but only started after i inadvertantly cleaned the connection on the starter cable leading from the solenoid switch to the starter. was that just some sort of zen thing with the every karma element of the cosmos all aligning when i turned the key on the column over an hour later? I haven't started it since the other day, but will after i clean the connections around the switch. right now, I want to employ the method you suggested, Roscoe, except that every time I try to 'crank it', it does. but thanks for your input. i did research dead spots in starters, and yeah, they appear real, and every source i went to suggested that there is nothing you can do about it other than to keep tools in the vehicle or replace it, but then there is no guarantee you won't find another just like it. thanks, guys, anyone else feeling this thread and wanna put their two cents in? I'd really appreciate it.