Avoid splicing motor power cables when ever possible. Ideally, motor power cables should run continuous between the drive and motor terminals. The most common reason for splicing is to incorporate high-flex cable for continuous flexing applications.
Here is where metallurgy comes into play. A motor rich in magnetically soft material will be more efficient, producing more work with less heat. And since the magnetic capacity of a motor also is influenced by the amount of active material (more core, more laminations), the tendency might be to try to add as much magnetically soft material to your design as possible.
The colors or numbers themselves are often a clue, but they alone may not provide sufficient information. There is always the trial and error method, but I do not recommend that because of the potential for destructive results. Instead, the Motor Doctors suggestion is to equip yourself with an ohmeter (don nott settle for just a continuity tester) and learn to perform a few simple tests with it.
In our experience, we disassemble, repair and reassemble objects we can see and touch. Our goal is a repair. However, to repair today vehicles, we must expand our understanding beyond things we can touch, see and use wrenches on. We must apply the technician approach to learning, information gathering and analysis.