The only thing muddying the waters is idiotic statements claiming batteries are intentionally mismarked. Nice to see someone else wanting to jump in and prove he don't know shit about DC power either. Dumbass. Since you're such a 'lectric genius, how about posting something from a battery manufacturer where they say they intentionally mismark the terminals on their products. Ain't gonna happen because they don't do it. No, that's not what you originally posted. Mr 38 is on the right track with checking the ground path. You barely touched on the ground question and then started blathering about A bad solenoid on a Chevy starter isn't going to make anything get hot. If the solenoid pulls in, that says the coil section is good. If the contact section is bad, there's going to be an open circuit between the cable stud and the starter stud on the solenoid. No path. No load. No heating. The only path thru the contact end of a Delco type solenoid is thru the starter brushes and to the armature. Heating of the ground cable says the current is getting thru the solenoid and to the armature. A bad ground can create a high enough resistance to limit the current to an amount that's not sufficient to make the starter turn, but still sufficient to warm up the ground cable. If the ground path is good, and the positive cable from the battery to the solenoid is good, the next most likely culprit is the armature dragging on the field coils due to a worn out bushing in the nose of the starter. That's a real common problem with Delco starters from the ones you can hold in your hand to the hundred pound ones used to start large diesels. If you remove the starter, check for slop in the shaft at the nose. Lots of times a starter with a worn bushing won't drag when its out of the vehicle because the armature will self-center well enough to run. But, when its back on the engine, the load on the drive pinion will push it tight against the worn bushing and cause it to drag. As you might expect, the wear in the nose bushing will most always be directly opposite the contact line between the pinion and the ring gear. More than a few have been fixed when no parts are handy by driving the bushing out, turning it 180 degrees and reinstalling it to take advantage of an area that's not worn. Not a permanent fix, but it beats walking. Both of you geniuses musta skipped school the day they covered Delco starters and solenoids.