Without trying to step on anyones toes I think you have to accept the fact that old hardware doesn't always work as good as you remember, that new software usually is more demanding than older versions and the fact that older hardware doesn't play all that nice.
The TL-WR1043ND v1 uses about 10y old chipset/radio hardware, build quality wasn't great to begin with and I'm pretty sure AR9103 is the first or possibly second gen 11n draft-n by Atheros. It doesn't perform very well if you compare it to later generations of 11n hardware that isn't draft-n even when it works. From my last experiences years ago I never saw performance go above ~40-50mbit (usually a bit lower) using wireless without any interfering networks around and it dropped off quickly and showed strange behavior once you added neighboring networks that would cause interference or even certain types of clients. It might be down to hardware revisions but that's at least my experience with the few I had around.
You need to consider that due to the age and availability there's little hardware still around and probably very few if any developers who still tests (and runs) such old hardware. It could also very well be that there's not much else one can do (ie hardware limitations) as far as driver optimization goes. Also the fact that it only has 32Mbyte of RAM isn't in your favor. https://openwrt.org/supported_devices/432_warning
In the end you might want to consider if it's worth your time even if you might never get it to work acceptable or bite the sour apple and shell out ~50$+ depending on your needs. I know people want to keep hardware as long as possible but sometimes you have to accept the fact hardware needs to be replaced.
As a sidenote, would you expect a first gen Intel i5 Core CPU to perform good today? It's about 10y old hardware and I can assure you that even with 8Gb of RAM and SSD it's really slow/limited. You can't even watch Twitch in 720p without stuttering, forget about 1080p even in a standalone player with hardware acceleration (well, as much hw acceleration as it actually supports). Sure it does run Windows 7 however Linux doesn't run any better or at least Ubuntu.
Sorry for the rant (depends on your pov)