Went to start the engine last week and the starter would not engage. Worked fine the day before and have had no issues with it.
I initially suspected a voltage problem but the batteries were fine so I then focused on the starter relay circuit but it checked out as well, I was getting 12v to the bendix coil. I then checked the bendix coil for continuity and it was open. A call to Jan who checked a starter at his shop confirmed that the coil is supposed to have resistance so I knew the problem was an open bendix coil.
There was not a starter available locally so I was going to have to wait for one to be shipped. I decided to take apart the starter to see if I could discover what caused the failure. I was concerned that there might be some type of undiscovered electrical issue that caused the failure and I wanted to inspect the coil for burnt or melted wires. What I found was there is one wire that connects the coil to the connection terminal and one wire that exits the coil makes a 180 bend and connects to the starter body to complete the circuit. The wire had cracked at the bend. There was no sign of arcing or high current , it was a simple break. I soldered the wire back together, assembled the starter and it worked.