Sounds like u r gonna have to change it anyway.
Most companies now days wanna rebuild starters and take urs as a core. They try to import them.
Since u have to take it off anyway, go ahead and take it to have it tested. It might turn good the first cool crank but after that, it stops. The heat shouldn't affect it that bad, especially since u have a heat shield around it.
Don't be surprised if u buy one from a parts store (if it is rebuilt) and it be bad. Make them check the new one in the store before u leave.
We changed my brothers and bought a new (rebuilt) one and it was bad. Went back, made them check the second one before we left.
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