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get it jetted right and it will probably pass
308 would work best on a 450 -550 holley
running rich could be
float levels too high
excessive fuel pressure --use a regulator in the fuel line
damaged power valve diaphragm-- subject to burning holes in the diaphragm on back fires
the idle mixture screws incorrectly adjusted
there are speed shops with chassis dynos that will be able to tune the carby correctly so talk with them about the carby size and the problem
if it is spinning over as if there is no compression ( really fast) then remove the plugs and squirt oil in the chambers as you turn the crankshaft. This will seal the rotor seals and give compression.
replace the fuel as it may be stale. fill the float bowl by pouring fuel into the balance pipe in the throat of the carby (When the air filter is off you will see a pipe in the middle of the carby throat point up-- balance tube). Check that the fuel pump is operational.
Needs some inspection and tuning. Plenty of reasons. Carbie? Spark plugs been done of not? Coils? Points? Because as you describe, it would more likely be getting too much fuel and weaker sparks because RPM gets low, then it wouldn't be able to ignite the fuel and die, but because you got already too much fuel, starting again is easy. So I'd say give it a tune, like check air filter, spark plugs, coils, points....whatever it is.
What''s the systems? Carbie? LPG? Diesel? I have no idea here!
fix the choke to work properly for starters next if you still have the original cast iron manifold then get the butterfly in the exhaust to work as well. It heats up the inlet manifold which helps to vaporise the fuel
If you have a carby start with plugs, ht cables (good quality) timing light if you can get a test unit that has a exhaust gas reader that will help with tuning the carby. fuel filter/ air filter. check tyre pressures( flat tyres use fuel) and hand brake isn't staying on. Check front wheel bearings for correct adjustment. If you are doing a tune up ,all things affect fuel usage
Oil coming out of the exhaust is an indication of valve stem seals are gone.What engine is in your van?You will need a reconditioned head or you could do the seals yourself as the whole kit comes with all the required seals.