What is this thing?

What is this thing on my 83 Ford Ranger? What does it do?
http://www.geocities.com/carlsaiyed/1.jpg
http://www.geocities.com/carlsaiyed/2.jpg
It has the 2.8 v6 and Motocraft carb. The device in question moves the
pushrod against the throttle and won't let my idle come down below around 1100. I adjusted it so the pushrod was in the full in position and the truck seemed to run much better, however it would come out and keep my idle even higher. I unplugged it and the truck ran great, but still seemed idle a bit higher than normal, even with my curb idle screw all the way out and the choke fully open.
How should I set it?
What is the proper adjustment?
Can I just remove it? I don't have a visual smog inspection in my state so that is not an issue. Will it reduce gas mileage? Right now I am sure it isn't helping to have an idle of 1100...
TIA
Carl
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[This followup was posted to alt.autos.ford and a copy was sent to the cited author.]

I believe it is probably used to hold the idle up when the engine is cold, and/or when the A/C compressor is on. If it's always ON, then something is broken.
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Carl Saiyed wrote:

The solenoid has had various uses over the years, and can be called a "Anti-dieseling Solenoid" and an "Air Conditioning Idle Speed Stabilizer". Considering how many wires are on yours, I'd say it does both, or more.
For anti-dieseling, the unit closes the throttle plates when you turn off the key to prevent run-on. For an A/C equipped car, it gives a higher idle when the A/C compressor is on to prevent stalling.
Yours is adjusted with the little screw underneath. I am not sure about the exact method to adjust your particular unit...a repair manual from your local public library might help. There also may be specs to tell you how much it's supposed to come out when energized by various components.
Gerard
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Yea, ok.

the
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No information was provided about the selonoid. The manual fails to mention the selonoid's existance.
Carl

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My 87 CFI Topaz had one of those. It also had a fast idle problem. It did not have A/C. I could not diagnose the problem through code reading, so I went to Canadian Tire for a big plug in Diagnostic. The guy said it needed a new ECU, which was not worth the money, so on the advise of friends, I risked $30 on a TPS despite the absence of a code for it, and it worked! So now I hate Canadian Tire. Maybe you could try the same tack?
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Maybe not major, but it's not right. I'd rather find the real problem so you can leave the control connected. You have a book, so that should help. You will need to do a though check of the whole system. I'd check the temp sensors, TPS, possible vacuum leaks first. You need to find out why the puter thinks it needs to idle faster. IE: a temp sensor stuck in the "cold engine" mode will make the engine idle faster, and misture richer. You will burn more gas, and spew more crap into the air. A broke TPS, and the puter has no way of knowing the exact throttle position. Etc, etc....Fixing a puter controlled car is 95% brains and 5% proper test gear. I'm not keen on "rigging" a car to work while bypassing puter controls. That will have a snowball effect. After a few years of this with various parts, the car will slowly turn to poor running shit. You need to keep on top of that stuff, and properely fix em as they break. If you don't have the knowledge, it's best to take it somewhere. But it's not really that hard with a little study, and a good manual. MK
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