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E99 F250 PSD

New (reman) starter installed 3 weeks ago. No problems — until a heavy rain soaked the GEM. Got that dried out and cleaned up, but still no crank. Jumped the terminals on the starter relay solenoid (passenger side of engine compartment) and got a click from the solenoid on the starter, but still no crank. Charged batteries and checked/cleaned terminals and cable connections. Same thing. Removed the starter and noticed that the gear was still extended. Took it to the parts store that sold it for check — all good. Reinstalled and it cranked but not enough to start. After about three attempts it wouldn’t try to crank (weak batteries, maybe, plus it sat for about a week between tries). Charged the batteries again, reinstalled batteries today, verified connections, no crank. Power to relay solenoid is good, as is key power to it. Jumped those terminals again — nothing, not even a click at the starter solenoid. Removed batteries and starter for testing at a different parts store. Starter failed this time. Batteries good, but need charge (red flag?) so I left them to charge. Return starter to parts store it came from for warranty replacement — no problem. Installed new (reman) starter and freshly charged batteries, started right up. Left it running for a few minutes while I checked for charging from alternator — only about 12.6v. Did a quick magnet check of the alternator, seems fine (still may not be sufficient). Walked to the back of the truck for something, turned around a saw white smoke billowing from the front of the truck! It had been running less than 5 minutes, probably less than 3. Ran to the front to locate the source — not from top. Ran back and shut it down. Still could see a little smoke and finally identified it as coming out of the starter near the back of it (under the solenoid, but not from the solenoid). There was no odd noise from the motor or anywhere else. Is this just another bad starter, or is there more to my problem than starter issues?
 
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