Question about 1998 Mercury Tracer

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1998 Mercury Tracer. Car runs like a dog.

Will die just driving down road. Restarts usually but not always. Took it to local mechanic and he came up with problems like cracked exhaust manifold, auxiliary emissions control, shift solenoid and transmission control box but another mechanic says none of these sound like the problem.
I drove it yesterday after it broke down and it died on me 3 times just getting it back to garage. Will not really get up to speed and just runs like a dog. Mechanic says it is not catalytic converter.
Any ideas

Bill

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Inline Fuel Filter.

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