I just purchased an 86 GW in a generally good, but non-running state. The story (assuming it is true) is that the truck ran fine with no significant issues before the owner, trying to splash his wife in the passenger seat with an open window, by driving through a puddle. The truck apparently continued to run and they parked shortly thereafter at a park and upon returning to the truck It would not start (did not engage the starter itself) and has been in that state for the last year.
He tried for some time to get it fixed but ultimately was unable. Unfortunately that means there are a few things undone on the truck that I have to figure how to put back together.... He was able to get the starter to crank by jumping at the solenoid, but apparently was unable to otherwise address the issue. He stated that he wasn't able to get the voltage from the ignition switch to the starter. That is the extent of what I know / was told.
So, my question is a general one. Assuming the story is true. What could running through a puddle have done to cause a fault within the starter/ignition? And is there a way I might could bypass a potential issue to see if I can at least get it running for some initial triage?
I've not done anything yet with it other than to clean it up, get rid of the interior mildew and throw a charger on the (disconnected) battery. I thought I'd get some opinions before I leave from the office as some 'first steps to try'.