HERE IS THE CONCLUSION I'VE COME TO:
I believe that the power supply may have something to do with the keypad problem. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) Here's where I got this idea. I was searching for a solution and came across someone who made a switch that turned the ground on and off for the keypad to make it work. (simulated being unplugged) So I began to wonder if it was power related.
I have tried this keypad on a few computers and all eventually got the same results. After a couple of restarts, the keypad won't work until unplugged and re-plugged. So I finally decided to just go back to the original case since in reality it can't be seen in the back of my truck. So scratches aren't important. I may just paint it black anyway. I found an AWE64 card to replace my SB16 card and just decided to start over.
This time I actually used a different motherboard (P166 mhz) instead of my original P233 setup. BUT, I tested this motherboard in another computer and the keypad started acting up so I wasn't very hopeful.
Anyway, I get everything back together and guess what. IT WORKS PERFECTLY. Keypad works flawlessly. The only common component in all of this work is the original case and power supply. And remember, the keypad wouldn't work with this very motherboard in another case.
In conclusion, thanks for all the help and input. Its working again and sounding even better than before. Also, this P166mmx system has a "quick boot" bios feature. My cold boot time went from 20 seconds to 7-10 seconds. So at least all of the research was not in vain. Later....