Kevin67, what you describe is pretty normal. If you were running a brand new engine when the temperature outside was cold then it will be extremely tight at TDC. That is what you want because the engine will run good once broken in. As far as the engine dying, that is normal too. The carb settings from the factory are for break in, meaning the settings will be pretty rich.
Just a couple of suggestions:
1. Don't run your engine when it's cold outside (less than 60 degrees). Use a hair dryer to warm up the case, then start it up.
2. Run it up and down, the street or parking lot, for most of the tank getting it to around 200 degrees, then shut it off. Don't let it run out of fuel, and make sure it's not at TDC when it's cooling. You may need to lean it out a little to get it to run at 200.
Hope that helps.