I have a 97 ford explorer sport 4x4 4.0 liter with manual shift the starter drive gear will engage but the starter wont turn if I remove the starter with the wires still connected it will turn
starter drive engages flywheel but wont turn the engine remove the starter with the wires attached and the drive engages and the starter turns battery is good engine is good I can roll it off to start it in 2nd gear and it runs great could the starter motor be weak and still pass the testing phase?
No, it shouldn't. A starter/alternator repair shop can test the starter under load. Starter or solenoid is the problem, as long as that battery is good.
The starter must be tested under load, places like autozone do it for free. If the starter test good visually check the cogs on the flywheel. Make sure your flywheel does not have broken cogs in the position where it engages the starter when the gear is extended in starting mode.
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