Replacing Panasonic capacitors yourself? Some advice:
If your Panasonic is still functional but has experienced some operational or performance problems it may be due to impending failure in power supply capacitors.
Other failures may be due to the need for DVD drive hub/spindle cleaning. See the first post in the below linked thread. That post has links to general hub/spindle cleaning advice, the cleaning procedure itself and other links addressing possible reassembly complications:
I will offer observations and advice based upon my experience in replacing electrolytic capacitors in several of my Panasonics. I must add that electronics is not my field so the advice that follows might need correction from someone experienced in that field.
The Panasonic power supply is located close to the AC cord connection on the rear panel. Be sure to check the nearby fuse if your Panasonic is dead. If the fuse has blown it is inexpensive and easy to replace. If a power supply capacitor has failed the Panasonic may be dead for that reason as well.
Capacitors store an electronic charge. That is reason enough to disconnect the AC cord well in advance of the procedure to allow the capacitor to lose its charge. Exercise caution when working in and around the power supply, even after the power has been disconnected.
If the Panasonic is operational but experiencing problems it is likely that one or more power supply capacitors are beginning to fail. The power supply will have electrolytic capacitors (a canister) and â€œchubby discâ€ type capacitors (a smaller device standing on two legs). Electrolytic capacitors are black or dark brown jacketed canisters with an aluminum top and a grey stripe running down one side. The grey stripe indicates the capacitor’s polarity. The leakage may appear as bubbly ooze on the capacitorâ€™s side or around the capacitor’s base and on the circuit board. This leakage will probably be somewhat hardened rather than pliable or moist. â€œChubby discâ€ type capacitors may be beige or brown. These demonstrate impending problems with bloating or leakage.
Some capacitors may continue to function during early stages of failure but any leakage or bloating indicates that the Panasonic is operating on borrowed time.
Some Panasonics have the power supply section on a separate circuit board. That simplifies capacitor replacement because extensive disassembly is not necessary. Other Panasonics have one or two large chassis motherboards that incorporate the power supply into the circuit board. These models require much more extensive disassembly. Allow at least one hour for the procedure.
During disassembly lay out all the various parts in an orderly manner so they may be correctly reassembled following the procedure. Several parts assemblies and the chassis motherboard itself will need to be removed in order to gain access to the back side of the circuit board for the soldering process. Some motherboard or other circuit boards may have ribbon cables or conductive bridge connectors between these circuit boards. Gently disconnect these by grasping the plug portion from the ends. Ribbon cables may have reinforced tabs near their ends to allow easier withdrawal and insertion.
In most models it may be necessary to remove the front panel; the hard drive and its cables/connections (if so equipped); the DVD drive and the DVD controller circuit board assembly and its cables/connections; many of the screws securing the rear panel to the tuner, I/O jacks, AC power connector, etc.; possibly the fan; those motherboard screws indicated by the adjacent screw icon; a mini-switch circuit board in some models; and in some models the central anchoring screw found recessed into the motherboard’s front input jack assembly. Then the motherboard itself may be lifted off its small blade type guides and removed from the chassis.
The specification of electrolytic capacitors will be found on its side. This will include specifications for uF, V, and the degree range. You may wish to measure the physical height as an additional specification. Some Panasonic low-profile cases may limit capacitor height. A capacitor more than 30mm or so may be too tall to fit some models.
Capacitors are generic so it is not necessary to order these from Panasonic. A local electronics parts store may have them or be able to special order them. Unsolder the old capacitor and take it with you to the electronic parts store so they may identify and order the correct specification replacement (if they do not have the right capacitor in stock).
Make a notation of the position of grey stripe (indicating polarity) so the new capacitor may be oriented the same way. The polarity may also be indicated on the circuit board. When unsoldering the capacitor from the back side of the circuit board take care to pull the capacitor straight off the front side of the circuit board after heating both soldered areas around the pins on the back side. Do not rock the capacitor as that may loosen or damage the “foil” covering carrying the circuitry on the back side of the motherboard. (If the “foil” lifts somewhat that does not necessarily mean that the repair has failed. This is just meant as a caution.) Electrolytic capacitor removal may be somewhat difficult as the electrolyte leakage itself forms somewhat of a bond to the motherboard. Carefully remove the residual leakage from the front side of the motherboard and clean the area with Isopropyl Alcohol. Guide the new capacitor’s pins through the holes, heating the solder to allow insertion, if necessary, making sure not to loosen or damage the “foil” on the back of the motherboard. Be sure to reheat the existing solder or use very little new solder until the solder flows smoothly around the pins, taking care not to allow any excess amount to intrude upon another circuit or another component’s solder or pins. Trim off the excess pin length after the solder has cooled.
Reassemble the Panasonic. If the Panasonic has a VHS section take care to hold the VHS door open as the front panel is being fitted back to the case. This will assure the correct alignment of the VHS door lifting mechanism.