You couldn't really do much with a mangled cyborg arm wedged in between two cogs. It might've looked pretty advanced for its time, but it didn't have any particular use.
However, if it was Arnie's cyborg head wedged in the cogs, then they might've been able to recover something from it, such as the microprocessor chip for example lol. But only it was still intact/in working order?
But an arm? I'm not too sure an arm alone could've led to T3 happening hehe!
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...all of Miles Bennett Dyson's research was backed up(he had no idea) on off site computers by Cyberdyne Systems and in between T2 and T3 Cyberdyne Systems is taken over by the U.S. Government, who rechristen it Cyber Research Systems(CRS).
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It was mentioned in the T2 Infilitrator novel that the arm had advanced circuits and relays that they used to start developing the hardware. The materials of the arm were also more advanced so that spurred on some development as well. Afterward it is was found that Dyson had kept his own offsite backups at his house. The infilitrator found these backups and used them as a bargaining chip to get inside the company and help spur on the production of SkyNet.
Of course that doesn't fit with the T3 storyline, but it's possible that Dyson or Cyberdyne had backups. This would have slowed down the development of the chip (because they didn't have the chip itself anymore, but just research based on it) thus prolonging Judgment Day. The only problem is that Terminator relies on an infinite loop so Judgment Day should have always been postponed. Sarah should have always tried to stop Judgment Day and should have always only postponed it.
Its interesting to read some of your posts but i think you guys are over analysing things with the whole altered timeline talk.
I think it comes down to this: when the original Terminator was made (early 80s) James Camerron and Arnie were relatively unknowns. They made Terminator on a tight budget and probably had no idea it would become the HUGE hit it did! With that in mind they had Reese sleep with Sarah never knowing that it would essentially screw up the whole notion of them traveling back through time to save her and that John Conner had sent Reese to protect her. It had to do with what seemed the logical thing to do in the script. The writers weren't planning on how potential sequels would lead to inconsistencies.