Just a brief history recap, hopefully I get all the facts right here.
His site may of had penguin issues, and it may of had panda issues, according to Dr.Marie who did a analysis for him.
His homepage was still on the first page for his main keyword though which I thought was strange if it had been hit by penguin.. my guess was maybe the low quality sites linking to him were the ones hit directly.
Now he changed his sites content to help with the possible panda issue..
I've never overhauled a site before so I can't say how they tend to react. drop/bounce back.. hopefully it will.
I know you were going to set up a second site a while ago and start afresh, did you ever get on that? .
I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill