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I have eliminated everything except the assign and email activities. I created a new PF with a variable for the email body, an assign activity that populates that variable with a 3000-character string of repeating "1234567890" and an email activity. I sent the email to two different servers, and both arrived with the strange string, actually a "!" followed by a 0D 0A and then another line break a few characters later. I'm going to submit an SR.
The "!" below occurs in position 2040.
...0123456789! 01234567 8901234567890...
I first encountered this a number of years ago generating html-formatted emails via plsql. The characters being inserted are due to line length limits in the SMTP standard and the server(s) transporting the message.
To be safe you need to either limit the line length to < 990 if the message may be transported qmail or sendmail standard ESMTP, and/or the message may need to be encoded (i.e. send the long-line message as a base64 attachment).