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Starter diagnosis ?'s

Okay folks the Q is back on the road.. sorta. This message is on
determining what exactly caused the starter to fail, if in fact it is bad.
I've got a box with a starter inside, sitting in the back seat of my Q. I'm
slightly better than average when it comes to mechanical inclination, but
when it comes to cars I consider myself in training. 

How about a bench diagnostic procedure requiring common (or extremely
cheap) tools? The way I figure is that I simply hook up the starter to a
12v DC current and let her go.. but his seems like a good way to either
lose fingers or blow some fuses in the shop. How should I go about it? 

For those whom respond, the next earliest time I can work on this is next
week, so give me bit to get back to you. I will. Thanks alot!! 

Osman Parvez
Albany, NY
89 200q, TAP Chip, 170K