Originally Posted by 25rsti
I did test the starter; not while cranking though. If I get 12v while trying to start it's bad?
Yes, the starter is bad, or the starter is working, but the gear is not lining up with your flywheel (slim chance, but possible if you've got some cobbled together parts from who knows where).
There are two terminals on your starter. One is a big heavy cable from the battery that gets constant 12V (because its connected directly to the battery, duh). And the other is the starting terminal, that gets 12v when you turn the key to the crank position.
You can see the two terminals in this picture above. [A] is the stud terminal (always 12v), and [b] is a smaller spade terminal (12v when switched from the ignition). If you have 12v at [b] when you turn the key to 'start' then the wiring and switch to the starter is good.
You can also test a starter when its out of the car. Hook up a pair of jumper cables or a jump box to the starter. Ground to the case of the starter where it would bolt to the transmission, and connect the positive lead to the stud [A]. Then take a screwdriver and connect the stud [A] to the spade [b]. Be careful though, the starter will jump (if its working). I usually put the starter on the ground and stand on it with one foot.