Electrical Starter Replacement Issues

Hey all, posting here because I'm running dry on ideas and need insight.

Car is a 1998 Cobra, not mine, it's a friend's car. Posting here because the starter on a 2v should not be any different of a job than on a 4v. Car has a slew of electrical issues, looks like the wiring was done by a barbarian and a 5 year old, and I'm helping him fix a lot of the problems.

Long story short, I determined the starter was going out because it would not turn over sometimes, but if I hit it with a ball peen hammer, it would turn over.

This car has kooks longtubes, and getting the new starter in was the biggest pain. Finally get the new starter in, and now the car will not turn over. The starter solenoid does not sound like it is engaging at all.

For details sake, the engine block ground has been cleaned, and the voltage from the red wire of the starter to the transmission/engine ground is 12.3 volts. I did have to remove the starter solenoid to squeeze the new starter into place, as we only shifted the oil pan to the left to fit the starter into place.

If the electrical connections are theoretically good, and two of the three starter bolts are really tight (there is no way in hell I can reach the third starter bolt), what else should I check for? Just trying to pick the internet's brain here. My immediate thought is the starter solenoid is not seated properly because we did remove it to fit the new starter in. If there is other troubleshooting that you all are aware of regarding starters, let me know. I do not believe it is the starter relay, because that was working fine before.

To be clear, the car is NOT turning over, the starter is getting 12.3 volts from a 12.3 volt battery all the time, and I do not hear the starter solenoid engage.

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