After 15 minutes of going 20 mph, I shut off for a layover, and my truck suddenly would not start. 1980 Chevy 350 V8, carbureted, no computer. Turn the key, no "clunk", no whizzzz, voltage dips very significantly, like down to 8 volts. Brand new battery, fully charged, 12.8 volts open-circuit after several tries, cables look good and are not getting hot.
I had maybe a dozen tries of 1 second each (stopped immediately after not hearing cranking). 60 minutes later, starter was still too hot to touch. Getting the wires off the solenoid was like "ow, ow, ow".
Pulled the starter off. Reached in with the corner of a crescent wrench and caught a flywheel gear and tried to turn. Levering against the starter hole it was fairly difficult, not super easy. Is this normal? There was no indication whatsoever that the engine was unhappy. Oil looks good. No smoke, anything like that, engine has been a pussycat.
Benched the starter using a 60A cart-sized battery charger for power.
Test 1: Clipped - on frame, + on the starter side of the starter-solenoid, spun up but not into infinity. Amps pegged out well past 60A and did not back off once the motor got up to speed.
Test 2: - to frame, + to starter solenoid via a #14 wire. Solenoid snapped loudly (which it definitely did not do on the car) and gear advanced. No spinning as expected since the motor was bypassed. Starter solenoid alone drew 40 amps!. The arcing from flashing the #14 wire to the charger clamp was impressive.
I find it difficult to believe that's normal, seems like 40A would soon fry the ignition switch.
Test 3: - to frame + to big lug on solenoid. Put #14 wire against lug, solenoid snapped, gear advanced and spun.
What could be wrong? Does the stiffness of the flywheel seem normal for a 350? Is the very hot starter normal? Is the solenoid pulling 40A normal?