Recapping - Capacitor Installation

Important Notice

With some soldering experience you should be able to complete recapping. However, please note we TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY for any damage to your board or device. The information we provide to assist with recapping has no warranties or guarantees. It may be incomplete, obsolete, or incorrect. Proceed at your own risk, or engage with a professional recapping service.

Installation Introduction

This is the simple part of the recapping process! There is only one thing you really have to be cautious of, and that is the polarity of the new capacitors. If you look at the marking on the PCB where the old capacitor once resided, you will notice a 'half moon' white shaded area there. The lead that is in that white area represents the NEGATIVE pole of the capacitor. On the actual capacitor, the negative side is clearly marked with a 'minus' sign running down the NEGATIVE side. If the polarity is wrong, the damage can be catastrophic to your board! Upon the first power up after completing this, you might hear a POP like a firecracker and your board will go POOF! This does not always hold true on all boards! Some boards, are reverse marked on the silkscreens, the 'half moon' area is actually the POSITIVE pole! Pay attention to the markings on the board AND the markings on the original capacitors as you remove them! Take close-up photos you can refer back to. As a rule though, the white shaded area represents the NEGATIVE pole, just make sure you check this as you remove the old capacitors!

Capacitor Installation

To install the new capacitors, do the following:

  • - Heat your soldering iron to 400 degrees Celsius.
  • - Insert the new capacitor fully into the hole, NOTING THE POLARITY IS CORRECT!
  • - Heat the lead of the capacitor and apply solder until you see it fill the hole.
  • - Use your side cutters or dykes and trim the lead off.
  • - Do that to all the capacitors you're replacing, and THAT'S IT!
  • - Reconnect and ENJOY your STABLE board!

Additional Information for Recapping Motherboards

There is one more thing that you might need to take into consideration. Specific to motherboard recapping any capacitors between the AGP and PCI1 slot, or any of the PCI slots. Some of the aftermarket capacitors are taller than the low-profile ones used by the manufacturer. Locating exact replacements for these is difficult. If the replacement capacitor is taller than the slot it can interfere with the heatsink on some AGP video cards, or interfere with cabling on PCI SCSI controllers and other PCI cards. The solution to this is to simply solder the cap in laying on its side. This might not be the most pretty way, but it works well. Some say that the short length of exposed lead can cause shorts, and to some extent they're correct. If the exposed lead does worry you, the best cure is to use a small length of heat shrink tubing and cover the lead before you solder it. If you don't have any heat shrink tubing, you can insulate the lead with a dab of glue from your hot glue gun.