Do you need a special soldering iron?

I was thinking about doing some minor swapping of resistors and caps on an old integrated amplifier. Is there anything special that I need? I'm going to replace the items with the same values but just better parts. I have a craftsman soldering iron with a few different tips and a multimeter. I think I need to get a solder-sucker and a glue gun to hot-glue the parts back into place.

If I'm just replacing with just better parts, do I need the schematics?

Thanks for any advice,
I don´t think so. Use appropriate tip. Maybe a solder-sucker to clean things up a bit before resoldering the new parts.

If only replacing with same value/higher quality, no schematics should be necessary.

Be careful and pay attention(!) to what you are doing (not reversing the polarity of caps - if that is being replaced etc.).

Moderate use of hot-glue. If any.

Biggest danger to circuit boards is too much heat. You want an iron 20-30 watts with a small tip. Be sure it's well tinned and you're using rosin core (not acid core) solder. 60/40 lead tin mix is what you want.

Second biggest danger is making cold solder joints. If you're not experienced, practice on some scrap wire. Don't use too much solder - you can easily created unintended bridges between adjacent circuit board traces.

You'll want the solder sucker to help remove the old parts - beware of applying too much heat to the board during this process or you may cause the foil to lift from the board.

I don't think you'll need the glue gun.

Be sure to observe polarity markings (if any) on capacitors. Not all have them, but installing an electrolytic cap backwards will get you some nice fireworks.
You can buy a roll of solder sucking wire at Rat Shack that works fine.
I agree with Ghost, would be very careful with a soldering gun around a PCB (printed circuit board).

Ghostrider45 is off on a couple of points.

1) You want a to use a 15watt iron.
2) The solder should be 63/37 rosin core. This has a lower melting point than 60/40.
3) Unless you are working on a dual sided PCB solder wick works better than a manual solder sucker.
4) Always clean your connections with Isopropal (SP) Alcohol before soldering you connections.
5) Clean your leads with a pencil eraser and then alcohol prior to soldering.

There is more involved but that you should get you started.


P.S. In my former life I was a certified 2M technician.
Vman, thanks for the update. You're right about the iron wattage - lower is better. Actually my tool of choice is a temperature controlled iron. These use a sensor at the iron tip and deliver just enough power to keep it at the right temperature. You can also dial in your desired tip temperature to suit the solder and job. Absolutely the safest iron for PCB work.

I paid about $80 for mine 10 years ago.

I still like the solder sucker better than the wick.