Yeah, that's why we have these forums.
The reason I suggested plugs was for diagnosis purposes because within a couple of weeks you'd have deposits to look at that would tell you if you had a problem with one cylinder. You won't get that with rare metal plugs- only standard nickel steel plugs.
As far as replacing the wiring goes- yeah, I'd do what you're doing. The grease I was suggesting is di-electric grease. You can get it in small packets at some parts stores labeled as "spark plug boot grease". That just helps prevent dust and liquid infusion from a weak connection.
When you go to solder, here's my method. Strip off about 3/4" of wire from one wire, on the other wire strip off a little more than twice as much as you stripped from the first one. Twist the strands together on both wires to help you work with them. Slide your shrink wrap insulation repair over one of the wires and far enough back not to be damaged by the soldering iron. Be sure to use at least 6". This stuff is available at most hardware stores. Now, turn 3/4" of the long stripped wire up at a 90. Match that end with the other wire and twist these 2 together. It's a little tedious to explain, but don't just twist the wires by grabbing the ends and turning each together. Fold them out like helicopter blades and make sure that each is wrapping 360 around the other one on each turn making a sort of braid. Now fold that twist back on the remaining stripped wire. Place your soldering iron under this joint and heat the wire until it melts the solder. Slide the shrink insulation over the joint after it cools off, and heat it with a hair dryer. It's a little bumpy, but if done properly you'll never have a failure. I used to use this method without solder to install stereos. The connections remained good forever, and the bonus was that if you pulled hard enough on the wires, you could pull them apart. It takes a good bit of strength though. If it's soldered, then not even that will pull apart. Making the right sort of twist is the key, so I hope I explained that correctly. And yes, I'd do it without solder myself. The shrink wrap insulation alone will prevent the wires from pulling apart in a twist/fold joint- at least until the point where the copper wire would break anyway.
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