First of all thanks for all of the suggestions and especially to KFennel.
The job was a serious PITA, but it is complete.
My car is an '07 Exige with AC. Passenger rear wheel liner out, motor mount out, bracket that supports motor mount out,
belt off, alternator out, vent tube unbolted off of motor and moved out of the way.
Now I finally had a hole large enough for my right arm to go through and bend and with a 1/4" 10mm socket, undid the two 10mm nuts.
One of the biggest issues was there are parts of the wiring harness that sits literally on top of the t-stat housing, but I finagled the housing off.
The last kick in the pants was the old t-stat (rubber center) was not torn or pulled off of the center steel section. I tested it and my new one on the stove. Both
opened up at 180 degrees. But now I have an new all steel unit in.
Waiting on my new front radiator GRP hoses while calm is off, then new rad goes in along with other bits up front and re-coolant the car.
It was a long day, but this part is done. Thanks again guys. Lotus Talk rules!!
'07 Exige S