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Premium Member
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Since you indicate the lights did not dim during attempted engagement, I'm leaning towards the starter itself.
The 'click' is the solenoid engaging and it does not require much current for that function. When it engages, it pulls a copper disc against the terminal that the main battery cable is attached to as well as placing the drive gear in mesh with the ring gear.
This contact, feeds the motor itself at the same time and that is the high power draw.

Your description sounds as though that final motor contact is not taking place. Check the main feed cable connection at the starter by pulling on the cable to verify it is not mess with the terminal bolt unless the negative cable is disconnected or sparks will fly.

Since the solenoid is not serviceable, a entire starter assembly is required if the cable connection is in good order. was the battery, the battery connections, or a high resistance you would have seen the lights go off the moment you hear the click....then, recover when the key is released.
This occurs when the high draw starter motor engages and saps all the available current......the lights go out.......upon key release, the lights recover since current is restored and all the lights only need less than 20 amps to operate. The starter will generally create a 180 amp surge.

Anyways, my thoughts are a disruption occurs at or in (stuck armature brush) the starter itself.......might happen again tomorrow, might work fine for years.......this is why my hair turned grey......intermittent gremlins.

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