might not be inline filter problem at all...
It's alright if the fuel filter doesn't seem to "fill up". If you have it on the suction side, there might be air trapped, but it shouldn't be a problem. If its on the pressure side, again, might be air trapped in it, but the pump shouldn't "push" more than a couple of lbs of pressure to the bowl anyway.
has the filter element discolored? like its dirty?
I'd take a gander at replacing the ignition coil and condenser.
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