the photo posted was not of my boat. my solenoid is actually the older style that is bracket mounted so the solenoid sits away from the engine block. there was a little bit of rust that cleaned off easily, but not nearly as rusty as that photo. yes, i pulled the starter off just last week. did not lubricate it, but i will. what kind of lubricant and where do i apply?
still, the Bendix shaft could be rotated by hand, so I'm not concerned about the starter. i bought the boat about 8 years ago, and replaced the starter about 4 years ago. I keep the boat pretty darn dry in storage, therefore the engine is not that rusty and pretty clean over all. again, i really do not suspect the starter as being the culprit. however, i read someone say that the starter gets its ground from its contact points with the flywheel case. while i think this too is clean and not the issue, i will check it and sand/clean as needed.
any thoughts out there on my wiring question and why my starter sometimes keeps cranking?