Originally Posted by spenc938
I was thinking the same thing. As much as I don't want the starter to be the problem...
If you're handy (and it sounds like you are), you could pull the starter itself apart, clean out the commutator bars, go down to the local hardware store, slap some new brushes in it, maybe even replace the bearings. After all of that, you've practically got yourself a brand new starter...for about 1/100th the cost of a new one...
I swear I checked the relay box and didn't see one for the starter. But I'll go look again and double check when I get home. Is there any other relay box besides the little one under the hood on the passenger side?
The one next to the battery on the drivers side maybe?
One other thing I forgot to mention is that when we're turning the key and the starter clicks, the negative battery cable heats up. I'm not sure if the old one did this, but the new one is the same gauge. Is this normal?
Ya that could possibly be the most important information given so far
Sounds like something isn't wired up correctly, dead short from somewhere to somewhere else, like something on the starter itself isn't wired up right, going straight to ground instead of thru the starter windings themselves.
The negative cable shouldn't heat up all that much, even if you're cranking and cranking (with the motor actually turning this time).
And define 'negative cable heats up'... Sure it's not because you're feeling it and you are actually heating it up, or is it actually getting hot to the point of 'can't grab it because it's so hot'?
Also, put a meter across the battery...
What does it read for voltage:
1) with nothing on, doors closed, key out, lights off, everything off
2) headlights on bright, blower on full, foot on the brake, key on but not cranking, dome light on, etc...
3) everything off, but turning the key trying to crank the engine (but it's not 'cause something is wrong)
4) everything off, but turning the key to crank the engine (assuming you can get it to crank some time)
5) everything on like in #2, but trying to crank like in #3
6) everything on like in #2, but cranking like in #4 (again assuming you can get it to crank)
All this will really in troubleshooting the problem...