If you're going through all the trouble of tearing the PS2 apart and leaving it torn apart in order to play PS1 backups, why not just install a chip in it? It seems ridiculous to me to go through all this just to KEEP it open "In case" you wanna play a PS1 backup.
Then again, I'm of the school that tries to keep the equipment in good working order, unlike someone who doesn't care about it failing in 2 months.
And I also know that you're broke, but I'm sure you can save up for it. I took up well over a year between the time I learned about the mods I wanted to do on my system and the time I actually went through with it. Mostly because I was low on cash. Everyone has money problems, it's how you deal with them that makes the difference.