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Make sure battery has a full charge and battery connections all good. Two voltage circuits at the starter motor, one comes from the battery, hot all the time. The other goes hot with key in the start position and is wired through clutch switch, I haven't looked up info on your clutch switch. The starter motor is grounded through engine block. Any testing at starter motor, make sure tranny is out of gear and parking brake is set.
You can check the starter itself, take it off, lay it on the ground, hook up jumper cables properly from battery to starter motor, at the least, it should kick out the drive gear and spin.
My thought is why the cables get so hot when you just turn the key to run. It makes me think you may have a short. The cable you said might be touching the header can you get a piece of rubber or plastic between the possible connection. I have had cables be bad before I do not remember them being hot but if enough broke wires were arcing in the cable I guess it could cause the cable to be hot but I only see that when you try to crank the truck.
Battery good, cables good, all connections clean and tight, no corrosion on battery terminals? Try to determine if click is from solenoid on the starter or starter relay. Turn the headlights on and watch them while someone turns the key to start. If they get dim, probably the starter-have it tested-even new ones are sometimes bad. If lights don't dim, you will need to check the start circuit. Check for power on the small wire to starter solenoid when key is held in start. If no power there, work back towards the ignition switch. Check the neutral safety switch-should have power in and power out when key held in crank. The ignition switch will have a start wire out of the switch going to the neutral safety switch. It should have power with key in start, the only time the start wire will have power. Post back with what you find-good luck.
Have the battery tested and check the battery positive cable for corrosion. Also have a amperage draw test done on the starter motor, it is one of them. If it just clicks but won't start then the starter is defective in most cases. Have it properly diagnosed by a dealer before any parts are replaced to avoid unnecessary parts replacement
soundsa like the starter or the fender mounted solioid is malfunctioning. Does anytrhing clich as you turn the key to start? If theirs no click at all you might look and the starter relay ( solioid) it's located near the battery and it has the positive battery cable connected to it. Also notice the most common no start is the battery cables aren't making good connection to the battery or the battry is too low as it may be low on charge. Have the battry tested or if handy to do see if it starts normally with jumper cables connected to a running car. If it starts just fine the battery or the charging system needs to be looked into. it it tris to start and crnks slowly and makes bad noises the starter is likly bad. If it had been starting just fine and this happened all the sudden the cables connected to the battery or the battery failing are the most likly.
Start with your connections to battery and starter, Also check your ground from your battery. Make sure it's not working lose. Then you can check see if getting power to starter, If you are getting power to your starter and it does'nt turn over Replace starter, The selonoid comes with it . You can get a aftermarket "rebuilt" for about $40Good luck to you hope this helps some.
The starter may have failed. you can have the starter checked by removing it . then with jumper cables connect the ground to the starter body. Then hit the main cable (positive ) connection . It should turn fast. If it is slow and sluggish or does not do anything. The starter went bad.
have the charging / starting system checked at a local autozone or checkers , lets eliminate all doubt . as for neutral saftey switch , no .make sure battery cables are tight and free of corrosion . cheers .