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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsterdoc View Post
however, I suspect that it may be more of an EPA issue, akin to the plug covering the idle mixture screw...an EPA thing
Absolutely sportsterdoc!

From the Sportsterpedia:
The clean air act of 1978 started affecting Sportsters in 1979.

1979 changes include:
A new recalibrated carburetor with tighter quality control, high and low idle feature, and an improved fast idle choke mechanism.
A transistorized, breakerless, solid state ignition system.
A closed crankcase breather system.
Modified air intake with a new high-capacity air cleaner.
Modified exhaust systems.

1980 saw new changes to comply with EPA regs:
The carburetors are totally non-adjustable by the customers.
Tamper proof ignition timing cover held on by two pop rivets to help prevent anyone (except the dealer) from tampering with the timing.


HD Service Bulletin #M-725 (dated February 14, 1978)

Under provisions of the U.S. Clean Air Act, all street-legal motorcycles manufacxtured after December 31, 1977 must comply with Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California emissions regulations.

At the time, the EPA had not established regulations for a quick field test to measure emissions.
It was difficult to prove emission failure with reliable test data.
So, there was no need for dealers to physically test for emission quality.
If factory specs were followed and OEM parts (or equal) were used as replacements, the motorcycle met emission standards.
So, if the rivets were gone, it could be assumed that the ignition had been changed which would "fail" EPA regs.

http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/s...99xx-01f#fn__1

The EPA had not set up a separate parts certification procedure.
However, it was understood from the EPA that non-Harley-Davidson parts may be used, only if the dealer or mechanic (not Harley-Davidson) can certify that such parts are equivalent in function to OEM parts.
And, would not cause the motorcycle to fail to meet emissions standards.

So, even though such parts may be used for EPA compliance, the MoCo established the policy that all warranty service would be performed with genuine Harley-Davidson parts.

The Clean Air Act established penalties up to $10,000 for each violation by a dealer and up to $2,500 for each violation by independent mechanics, speed shops, etc.x

Under the anti-tampering provisions of EPA regulations, the replacement or alteration of emission related components outside of factory specifications was prohibited.
John Davidson sent a letter, dated January 3, 1978, to dealers suggesting they review and adhere to the new EPA regs so as not to be exposed to liability for any violations of the tampering thereof.
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Reference the XLFORUM'S Sportsterpedia for additional technical information & advice

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