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Hard Starts 80/Q

Hey ALL<
I am experiencing hard starts with my 1988 80 Quattro-sometimes.  In the
morning it starts after a few cranks, but after driving for approx. 1/2
hour then letting it sit for a couple of hours I have an identical problem
each time I try to start it again.  There are always three attempts to
start it.  The first is a few cranks then a sputter and then it dies.  The
second try is just cranks with NO firing.  Then the third attempt is a few
cranks and the engine slowly begins to fire up--seemingly one cylinder at
a time.  At this point, I floor the gas pedal and the engine builds its
revs up until it evens out, then it runs regularly.

Also, when it is hot (summer) the car will run with hick-ups from a stand
still ( stoplight).  I have checked for vacuum leaks--none.  The car has
178,000 miles on it, but very well maintained.  I have replaced the intake
hood, all hoses, ntc sensor, etc.  The only things that I have not
replaced are: cold start valve, idle control valve, and the fuel
distributor.  How could I best trouble shoot these last three items
without making a faulty diagnosis.  I tried the buy-til-it-dies technique,
but I have spent a fortune on parts and the problem has not died yet.

The engine does not consume oil or smoke, so I think that the rings are
fine.  All tune up duties have been done twice ( spark plug wires,
filters, belts (including timing) etc).  Coil perhaps?  Electronic
ignition?  ECU should not be doing this, I hear that they either work or
they don't.  I re-torqued the head to ensure a leak free situation there.
But, lately I have noticed as the weather gets cold, my RPMs will run up
around 2000 for quite a while (5-min. passed the warmed up point)then drop
to 1200 instead of the normal 800rpm.  But when the weather is balmy, it
starts and runs at 1600 then drops to 800 when warm.

Any takers want to try and help me hammer this out? (I wouldn't blame you
if you didn't).  It has always been proven that sometimes you can get so
wrapped up in a car's problems that someone else can come along and point
at the simplest thing you may have over-looked.  BE THAT PERSON!!

Thanks a lot for the ear,

80 Quattro Rob.