My Escort's starter also shorted out. I don't know why, but all over
the windings was powder from the brushes. Unfortunately cleaning it
off with electronic parts wash didn't help, so maybe a winding had
Test the starter operation using the starter relay, not a direct
connection. It's a lot easier and it may help you to pinpoint your
problem. Use a remote starter switch or some heavy duty test leads.
Otherwise make sure your grounds and starter connections are clean.
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