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Did you check timing 6*btdc? Could be bad fuel distributor. Misfire is either a problem with fuel delivery or ignition (spark). If you can't find or fix the problem you'll ruin your catalytic converter.
Just found your problem while looking for solutions to my own. My 2.0 8v 3door 97 golf gti can also cut out after driving for two or three minutes. Works fine one day then dies instantly 5 times the next...not a safe thing to happen pulling out of a junction!! Have researched problem and been told that it's probably fixable for £12-15. The "Hall Sender Relay" which is the fancy name for the ecu's power supply relay can go on the blink and cut power at any time causing instant shutdown...just like turning off the ignition key. Part number is 165906381 and available from a local vw dealer usually overnight. I'm fitting mine tomorrow 4/4/09...fingers crossed!
Hope this helps others...worth a try for the cost involved.
First check the filters... There is a high pressure filter near the fuel distributor and a strainer in the tank... Connect a fuel pressure gauge at the fuel distributor... there are 2 test ports for this. One is "system" pressure the other is "control" pressure... you want the "system" port...if no (or very low) pressure then I would suspect the fuel distributor itself... If pressure is good and still no spray from the injectors then either the fuel is very dirty and has clogged the injectors (not very likely except in extreme cases of neglect) or the injectors aren't getting a signal (or an intermittent signal, more likely) from the injection control unit. If none of this helps you will need to get the Bentley manual and follow the troubleshooting steps...;-)
Hello there matey...I'v got a gti 8v anniversary!..it seems to have the same problem the day i brought it...some GTi's just do that...i have heard its got to do with the ECU..bringing fuel to the engine..they way i overcome the lag of a 8v was getting a Pipercross Viper induction kit!..I dunno if ur 4om england or america!?...here in england they retail for about £250.00!...but wooow! they make a different! the engine gets so much cold hair that it seems the pin is going to fly of! it flys past 5100 revs..and theres no lag!.. feels better than a 16v..also think of a ecotek valve made a alot of different even tho its used 2 M.P.G...