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I bought an 87 Jetta gli with cis-e fuel injection system. I wanted a project car to learn how to work on cars. Despite my lack of knowledge I still bought the car even though it doesn't idle. but I'm determined. anyways when I bought the car I could step on the gas and keep the engine running until it was warm and then it would idle. so on a cold start the engine won't rev. I decided to replace the fuel distributor and differential pressure regulator to see if anything would happen, but no. however after doing that I noticed I could no longer rev the engine anymore. instead now when I step on the gas it kills the car automatically.

So I went gun-ho and replaced everything from the fuel pump all the way to the injectors. so a new
Fuel pump
filter
accumulator
fuel reservoir housing
pressure regulator
fuel distributor
differential pressure regulator
injectors
idle air stabilizer
cold start injector
thermo time switch and
coolant temperature switch

still nothing

then for some reason I decided to check the spark plugs and noticed that they were carbon deposits on them and they smelled like fuel. so I cleaned them lightly, again nothing. then I decided to replace the spark plug wires. after that the car would idle but its super rough. but it takes a couple tries to get it to actually idle.

I need to check for vacuum leaks but its hard cause it won't idle, and when I bought it the guy initially said it was a fuel issue which is why I went all in with the fuel system replacements. The only thing I really haven't done is check the fuel pressure and adjust the idle/fuel ratio, but I'm super green at dong this type of stuff. so I want to get it done but because of lack of knowledge I'm in a rut. Anyone know what could possibly be the problem. I mean I only coming to the forums because it seems like the best place to go to for help. Would appreciate any suggestions.
 

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First thing I would recommend is to stop replacing parts because you think they are bad. This rarely ever works but seems to be the first tactic people use.

All the air must be metered so the fuel system can deliver the right amount. Smoke testing the intake system is the best/only way to know if you have any air leaks. Most people do not have a tester but it's worth the money if you are a pro. It's worth your money to find someone that can do that on your engine.

By changing the fuel distributor, usually you have to tweak the CO screw to set it up correctly.

Ignition timing needs to be checked and adjusted to specs.
 

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Cis-E Idle is set by the ISV. I hear they need to be cleaned. My CIS car is different.
Have you checked the Throttle Idle Screw? The little O-ring seal on it (6mm ID x 2mm) gets hard especially Viton seal after 10 -20 -30 years.
 
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