One of the jobs which I'd been saving up for when we were installed at the marina was the multiway connector. This had been giving intermittent problems where either the engine starter wouldn't do anything; or the engine stop button wouldn't do anything; or the rev counter appeared stuck. In these situations physically disturbing the connector made everything work again, so it was evident that there was a faulty connection amongst the 13 wires joined here.
The connector is located on the same side as the injectors, towards the back of the engine and only a few inches from it. In the photo the cables on the right come from the engine, 11 of which end in "spade sockets" housed in a white plastic block. This block receives a matching black plastic block which contains 11 "spades", the ends of the wires going off left to the instrument panel. (Two other wires are separately joined.)
This is what it looks like when the multiway connector is separated:
I tried to clean the spades with a small file. Individual spade terminals are fairly easy to remove from the black housing by pushing a screwdiver in to release a small locking tab, but I couldn't work out how to remove the spade sockets. Any ideas? I wanted to crimp the curly gripping parts of the sockets so that they would grip the spades tighter. As it was, I merely pushed the two halves of the connector together again and hoped that it would be all right.
It seemed to work afterwards, but I expect the problem will recur.
If you do know how to release the spade sockets, or if you have any other ideas about this, please leave a comment!