Ford KA '97 Issues - Ticking and rev problem

I have no knowledge of cars/engines/mechanics at all... you have been warned...
I've had my KA (97 P, 53'000) for just over a year. All was fine for
the first 10'000 or so miles. Then the engine started revving when I put the clutch in to change gear. At first just when changing up gears, after I'd been driving a few miles. My first thought was that the accelerator was sticking, I tried putting my foot under the pedal and lifting, but it was already raised fully. I played around with the cable and it didn't seem to be sticking. Anyway, the problem got worse, it started happening all of the time. The revs weren't just staying the same when I put the clutch in, they were increasing quite dramatically. I tried a few things to test it, like sitting on a hill with the engine running and the car out of gear. When I took the hand brake off, at any speed at all, the revs shot straight up. Going 15-20mph, it sounded like it was going to explode! Now even when coming down from 30 to pulling up at junctions the revs are going through the roof, they settle after 5 seconds or if you put the clutch up, but this obviously causes the car to pull forwards. I even think it may be constantly revving too high, altough this is harder to tell when moving with the car in gear, it just sounds like it's working too hard, and can often feel like I'm not slowing fast enough when I stop accelerating. If I'm driving at say 50 or 60 even and I dip the clutch the revs go up still. I've had a check done at the garage, hooked up to some computer thing, but they say it showed nothing, they replaced a 'spacer' which cost 7.50, which solved it for around 2000 miles, then it started again and finally got worse. I need a proper final solution... any ideas???
Another thing... it has recently started ticking all of the time even when stationary. The speed of the ticking increases with the revs. I couldn't say where the ticking comes from but it sounds like it's in the middle under the bonnet! Any ideas???
Cheers, Richard
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sounds like your idle control valve has packed up. simple job to replace, you could probably do it yourself, depending on your ability and tools. its located on the inlet manifold. steve.

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Hmmm... Inlet manifold... I know where you put oil, water, petrol and the air in the tyres. Thats about it, for anything thats not on the dashboard! I'll take it to someone who knows a bit more and mention what you've said.
Thanks for your help.
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