I have a 2001 4wd V-10 excursion that had a similar sounding problem a while back. I went to crank it and there was a pop sound and the power went out and nothing until I left it alone for a while then came back to it.
The problem was that the vehicle had a poor grounding system. One wire on a tin sheet connected to aluminum on the bell housing. Years/200k miles and the electrical feed back from poor grounding caused all of the primary electrical wires coming off the battery to corrode from the inside out.
The fix was to replace all the wires coming off the battery and to add a bunch of ground wires. I ran a couple from block to frame, battery to firewall, and all three starter bolts got ground wires going to block and frame. I also burnt up the "power saver" relay under the dash. That was what the popping was when the power went out. The feedback would overload the relay.
My truck had a dual positive battery cable which are expensive as hell to buy the replacement. I went to an Autozone near a river and they stocked marine parts. I "built" one from two sealed battery cables and a brass marine connector with wing nut and could attach as many cables as I wanted.
I will say that this started gradual and then all of a sudden it wouldn't run any more and I spent three days in a parking lot figuring all this out.
As for the starter, if you pull it out, you can take it to a place like Autozone and they will test it for free.
Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 AT 7:57 PM