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There were a couple problems: The DC/sound card had taken a couple yanks over the years. In the past I was able to save the DC port with some soldering, but I wasn't so lucky on the sound.
The touchpad was bubbling up. Not only did it look weird, but it FELT weird, and wasn't as responsive as it used to be.
Yes, I'm aware I could have easily put the money towards a new laptop, and I have much newer systems at my disposal. But I didn't want to just get rid of it, and wasn't about to let it sit in disrepair.
The surgery took maybe an hour or two; I'm not sure. I'm no stranger to the innards of this Powerbook, so it wasn't unfamiliar territory.
After I put it all back together, I hit the power button and... OS 9 had completely lost its mind, bombing on startup, and I couldn't force it to start up in OSX (until I manually deleted the OS 9 system folder by way of other computers and hard drive enclosures).
Now, after these repairs, as well as some prior repairs involving upgrading to a G4 (the old G3 had the failed cache memory) and upping the memory to 512MB, it's pretty souped up.
Be patient and don't force anything.
When disemboweling a laptop like this, after getting all the loose parts safely out of the way, now is a good time to blow out all the dust and dead bugs that have accumulated over the years.