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4kcsq lifter probs and timing

Hello fellow Audi fanatics,
    I'm currently having some problems that I hope
(and would definately appreciate) some of you
could shed some light on.  I have recently had my
timing belt, lifters, water pump changed on my 86
4kcsq by what I thought was a reputable shop.
Here is a short version of what happened at the

    Dropped off car for repairs.  When I picked up
the car, was told that it was test driven and that
all was great.  Took the car for a short test
drive, and car would drop revs at lights, until it
almost stalled.  Took car back to mechanics who
proceeded to charge me again to check timing.
Checked timing and was told that car was
significantly advanced.  Changed timing to factory
specs, and problem gets worse--still nearly stalls
after letting off accelerator when revved, and now
won't hit redline without struggle whereas car
previously revved very easily.  Traced down vacuum
leak (that wasn't there prior to their repairs), I
believe that they swapped out the ISV and possibly
a throttle body with a spare to no avail, and set
CO content to factory specs  ( Fuel injectors had
been cleaned about six months priorby another
shop). What other things they did, I am not
entirely certain.  Seemed to have car running ok,
was really tired of waiting and frustrated at
watching them fumble for two days in an attempt to
diagnose problems.  My fiance hates my car, so I
was hesitant to spend more time and money with a
shop that seemed to have questionable skills to
begin with.  Drove car home.

It has been nearly 2 months now, and the car is
running like crap.  It was running pretty well,
with exception of awful lifter noise, until the
repairs were made.  These repairs were supposed to
make things better, btw.  Now, once again the
lifters are making lots of noise, not only on
start up, but even after the car has been driven
and warmed up over many miles.  I thought that new
lifters were supposed to help this problem for at
least 100k miles or close to that figure. The
stumbling problem with the revs dropping when
coming to a light is worse than ever.  It has
never actually stalled, but it has backfired
occasionally.  Oh, and I changed the cap and rotor
when we got home, and found that the shop had
positioned it improperly on the car.  :-(

On a separate but possibly related note, I have
had problems with the cap and rotor in the recent
past, where the rotor has actually been melted at
the end, and the cap is actually in bad shape in a
very short time.  Any ideas on what's causing
stumbling and drop in rpm's?  I'm not sure if the
cap and rotor were on the car properly when they
did the timing.  If not, is this a possible
cause?  I'm really tempted to go back to my
previous mechanic (who claims to be factory
trained) and have him advance the timing ( at the
expense of my engine's duration?), hoping that
this will make the car run as it did before.  I'm
totally frustrated at this point, and usually do
all work that I can by myself as I am very
distrustful of auto mechanics in general and am
always on a budget.

Once again, thanks for any insight and wisdom.
I'm always learning when it comes to this car, and
swimming upstream due to "significant other"
objections.  But I love this car and I've had it
for eight years now with no significant problems.

Also, I know this is getting long, but there has
been some mention recently about "on-car
balancing" as it relates to alignment.  I have had
this procedure used and it makes sense, but what
happens when you do tire rotation?  Does that then
throw the car out of balance and alignment?
Thanks again.