And the winner is.....
Yes, you guessed right. Last night, after I rechecked the coils and plug wires, I got out the x-acto knife and did a bit of exploratory surgery. Inside the black sheathing the wires look just like those I've seen photos of--cracked both lengthwise and across.
As they say...denial ain't just a river in Egypt. But somehow it really bothered me to cut into the wiring.
Thanks to Evan for the tips...hopefully I won't need them...And, again, thanks to everyone else who responded. I sure like Dalton's code reader!
94 E320 Wagon, 170k, totalled in 2006
2002 BMW 525i Wagon, 75k
1991 BMW 318is (two of 'em)