sounds like me and my 79 CJ5. I am constantly buying/selling/trading on jeepforum/craigslist. I once bought a 79 Cj7 frame complete with engine and axles for $250. It had a nice set of wheels, tires, and a lift. So i took off all the items i wanted off and parted out the rest. At the end of it all i got 4 aluminum wheels, a radiator, 4 brand new 32" tires, a dropped pitman arm, and a 4" 4wd lift and still had $750 after stelling the engine, axles, and frame.
I really enjoyed your story and you have a really nice jeep.