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Well... i would start with all the components related to the starter circuit. Check positive wiring to alternator and starter "B" terminal, they'll both be black primary with red stripe, about 4 gauge wires. They both come off the fusible link box at the terminal. See if you can see inside the fusible links, they work just like regular fuses, the clear "box" for them isn't totally sealed, so they could/will get moisture contamination and start to corrode causing issues in a high current/load situation. It should be fused for 120 amps, look at all of them though.

The next thing would be to check the voltage drop at battery during cranking. Shouldn't drop below about 10 volts during cranking when cranking for 3-5 seconds. Next do a voltage drop test between starter "B" terminal and it's ground on the block, near alternator (during cranking). It should be about the same reading as at the battery, this checks the integrity of the positive supply wire. Next check voltage drop between B and S terminals on starter during cranking, should be no or low voltage. After that i'd take the starter out and bench test it, or have it tested, could have a short in one of the coils. Has it ever been cranked excessively in succession? If it has, sometimes it can heat up enough (nature of high current) to cause a short, but still work, just not as well. How warm does it feel after cranking (do this with a cold engine so you can feel the heat)? An internal short in one of the starter coils that isn't enough to take it out completely could be causing the smell.

It could be the starter relay in the IPDM causing the issues. It's exposed to water through the hood panel gap and also the fender liner, corrosion or poor solder joints could be causing the slow cranking among other issues. It's a known problem. They're modular units too, meaning if it's the cause of the problem it must be replaced as a unit. It's in front of the left strut tower with a black cover that comes off. If you get ambitious, check wire from ignition switch to starter relay, should be white, for corrosion and burns.

I also forgot to ask, how is the uniformity of the cranking? How long does it take to fire up? Does it start slow then get a bit faster? Or does it slow down after a few turns? Or is it just an arbitrary erratic speed?
 

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^^ Already suggested checking fusible links...

Probably internal to the starter. For an accurate diagnosis though, follow what i wrote then after all that should you suspect a bad starter.
 

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So it had good voltage (no dead cell) just not enough capacity to deliver those high amps.
 
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