Starter slipping

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We inherited a 2000 GTI 5647.
My son is 14 yrs old and we are using this as a learning experience. We just replaced the wear ring and that went smoothly, chilling the new wear ring is the way to go.
Now we put it back together and it wouldn't start. Read about people flairing out the wear ring so we checked it and eliminated this. Check fuses and then gave the starter a tap. With a little tap it caught and started right up. Took it to the lake after 6 or 7 good starts. Ran for two hours and then we went to the marina to drop off some peeps. Ready to go to the boat ramp and guess what no start. We gave it a tap and now it just spins. So I guess are next lesson is pulling the tuned pipe (exhaust manifold?) and installing a new starter.
Any heads up advice before we tear into it tomorrow?
Thanks for any input!

With long extension bars you can get the starter off without messing about with the exhaust. Be sure to mark the starter so that it goes back together exactly the same way or it will spin in reverse.
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