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I've heard of an excel with problems with the signal from the computer not keeping the fuel pump on, if I recall, that was on a '91 excel. To check yours, you would need to monitor the fuel pressure with a fuel pressure gauge, when the car was running, and still hooked up when the car strops running. If the pressure drops when the car stalls, you know you have a problem in the fuel pump circuit. The owner of that '91 excel had replaced the computer once, and believed he needed another. Don't know if this is your problem, but a good place to start is with the fuel pressure test, especially right after the car stalls. If it turns out not to be fuel related, then probably something in your ignition.
Turn the car on and listen for a sound resembling an electric motor running, which should stop after just a few seconds of having the key turned to acc (pre ignition) If nothing then you will have to drop the gas tank belts and pull the pump from the upper assymbly. I believe it is threaded normally and the fuel hoses can be removed with the ends taped to keep dust and dirt from making its way into your fuel system.
Check O'Reilys or Autozone for the pump
Hi, if it is an early 97 12valve engine the plugs will be accessed through between the exhaust manifold sections at the front of the motor. if it is a 16 valve, then you remove the plug leads to get access undo them, then use the lead cap to remove the plugs, ie wqhen the plug is undone, push the lead cap back onto the plug, and lift it out. you certainly would not need to remove the valve cover.