i got the 83C thermostat from kohlweiss autoparts - www.kparts.com.
they had it listed as a 179F thermostat, it's actually a behr and stamped 83C.
here's a report on my experiences with this thermostat:
i have been stuck in stop and go traffic with it...
as to removing the fan, look for that thread about replacing the fan with electric ones. there was something about having to replace the thermostat with a reverse flow version - i forget the details but it is not that simple...