83 VW Rabbit Hard to start and progressively looses power and dies. Cold start? Fuel pressure? Electrical? URGENT. Please respond!

Hello Everyone, Please reply as soon as you can. I've just purchased an 83 vw rabbit cabbrio 1.7L auto. I have become VERY frustrated with this car. When I bought it the
person said it might need the fuel pump replaced and perhaps a cold start valve.
The car is very difficult to start. Once it does start, it runs not to bad but misses a little. If you take it out for a drive it progressively losses a lot of power like it is missing. Perhaps not firing properly, not enough fuel or maybe something else. It will eventually loose enough power that if you go up a small hill if will stall. If you back of on the gas pedal it will smooth out a little, but when under load if you push the pedal it really looses power. Once it stalls it will crank but again it's very difficult to start. I have not replaced the fuel pump yet because it seems like there is lots of pressure getting to the injectors and the cold start valve. I have tested the cold start valve by hooking it directly to a battery. It seems to work and does not leek. I have replaced it with another one anyway. I've replaced the fuel filter. It does not seem like there is any significant power getting to the cold start valve or even the thermotime switch. What is causing the hard starts? Why does it run pretty good for the first 10 mins but after it losses power. Is it the cold start valve, lack of voltage, low fuel pressure or something else. I am so confused. It's been 3 days now and I need this car to run. This was supposed to replace another car that died. I don't need two dead cars. URGENT. Please reply everyone. Thanks
Mark
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Urgent reply? OK:
You've posted this in a BMW NG.
How's that?
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Sorry guys. Posted to wrong group. Reply if you want. Thanks
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Sell (or scrap) the ancient VW and buy a BMW.

SNIP - long tale of clapped out old clonker.
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I own an 89 e34 that just died. The Rabbit is a supposed to be a temporary car till I buy a new BMW. The e34 has not been very reliable though but it's an old car.

start
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Mark,
Like BMW's you car uses Bosch Injection system, two fuel pumps, and a cold start system.
First think I would check is the intake boots. You must remove them and check for cracks or splits. If any are found them replace them.
Second I would buy a fuel pressure gauge with a hose long enough so you could place the gauge on the windshield. Go for a drive and note your fuel pressure when your car starts to lose power. Pumps are about 120, intank pumps are about $75.
A failed intake pump will make the main pump noisy (growl) and can cause hard starts and power loss though main pump cavitation.
Check your intank pump assembly before you buy a main pump.
DieInterim
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