'98 Cavalier Z24 jerky acceleration

Hello.
I have a '98 Z24 that's been giving me problems for some time. My current problem is with jerky acceleration when accelerating hard (for example when merging into high speed traffic on a highway or freeway).
The acceleration seems fine at typical lower city speeds (like accelerating from a red light, etc). It also seems to be worse in the mornings.
I didn't think it was much of an issue when it first started happening, so I left it (thinking it was maybe bad gas from the gas station I usually fill up at). Then one day on the way home from work the car basically died on the side of the road. The dealership said the ignition cassette was shot and needed to be replaced (apparently only two cylinders were firing). The catalytic converter also needed replacement as a result.
About a week after those repairs, the jerky acceleration started again. I took it to a different dealership who said the fuel filter was completely plugged and that this was the cause of the problem. It was replaced, and the car seemed to run fine for a few more weeks.
This morning, it started again! The problem is frustrating the heck out of me. I can't trust the vehicle any more, as I don't know when it might 'die' again. I'm thinking there might be a bigger problem at play here and the dealerships have just been fixing symptoms. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks, Corey
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Unfortunately the "jerking" you are describing is probably an engine misfire, which many components can cause. Good luck diagnosing it, let us know when you get it figured out. I would start with the ignition components and then move into the fuel components personally.
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Find a mechanic with an OBDII tester who can look at the computer and determine what is happening. If the fuel filter was plugged you need to have the tank checked. The crud had to come from somewhere and fuel filters plugging isn't much of a problem today. The problem with misfiring will definitely kill the catalytic converter so if it is misfiring don't let it go too far. A mechanic can see any misfires in readouts from the tester as well as any other abnormalities the computer sees. Cars today are computer controlled and throwing parts at symptoms will become very expensive very quickly.

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