Forget any testing off the engine. I've never seen a starter test bench that puts a starter under load. While trying to turn the engine, that starter is going to draw perhaps 150 amps that has to get through the contacts in the solenoid. When it's just spinning freely, it is likely to draw less than 30 - 40 amps. 40 amps might get through the contacts while 150 amps won't. Also, you have to consider a bad connection on a battery cable, and those aren't getting tested with the starter off the engine.
Rather than rereading everything and trying to figure out where we are, grab that solenoid with the starter on the engine, then have a helper try to crank the engine. We want to be absolutely certain that solenoid is engaging. You'll feel and hear it. If it is engaging, grab a test light for the next tests.
Ground the clip lead to a paint-free point on the engine or transmission, not at the battery. Put the probe on the upper fat solenoid terminal with the battery positive cable attached to it. The light should light up brightly. Now have your helper try to crank the engine. If the light goes off or gets dim, there is a bad connection in one of the two battery cables. If the light stays bright, move the probe to the other larger terminal on the solenoid. It should not light up at first. It should light up when your helper tries to crank the engine. If it doesn't, the contacts are burned inside the solenoid. Those can be easily replaced on most Chryslers and Toyotas, but for yours you would replace the solenoid. If the light turns on there when the solenoid engages but the starter doesn't spin, it has worn brushes. Replace the starter for that. It will come with a new solenoid.
Saturday, April 4th, 2015 AT 9:03 PM