Starter motors fail mostly due to overheating. They are placed in a hostile, hot environment and cannot be expected to last indefinitely. Another mode of failure is a shorted or open winding. This exhibits itself as a "dead spot" on the commutator. If a brush lands on a dead spot the motor wont turn at all. A third failure-mode is a faulty pinion engagement. Sometimes the pinion assembly gets stiff or stuck due to lack of lubrication or wear. Starter motor rebuilding or replacement is required for all of these problems.
The damage caused by overheated wires is easy to find; but if only a single wire has overheated and melted at some point, you may have to use a circuit tester to find the break. If the damage is in an open run of wiring, you may be able to mend separate wires without taking out a section of the loom. If it is in any part of the covered sections, you need to remove at least part of the wiring loom.
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