Just wanted to post this in case anyone else has the same issue.
The Polaris 380 had been misbehaving ever since we found it stuck on the step with the back up valve case ripped open. We found a spare back up value in the parts box and that part worked but it just was not right. The unit would run but got beached on the swim-out ledge. Took the body apart and found the belts were torn up. Replaced them locally and it ran fine for awhile but tended to get stuck a lot. It would run to the wall and then just stop.
We took it apart again and found what seemed to be half of a bearing casing lose inside no sign of the ball bearings or other parts. It seemed to have come from the main wheel. Got one locally and replaced it. It ran well but then then not so much. We ordered a turbine gear/thrust bearing thinking that maybe that was the bearing that was bad. Opened it up again and found the other half of a bearing casing in the gears. Back into the pool, it didn't run, then started running fine.
Lesson to pass on --- just open it up and take a look, you might fine something that needs work.
At this point it seems that to get the rebuild kit and let the local Warehouse Pool Supply install it would have been a good answer. Online the kit was $150 and locally it was $30 more including service so they check everything and install the parts for free. So far, we have bought a good number of the parts that would have been in the kit but the kit has things you cannot get separately. It's OK that we have taken the time to work on it, just for the education, but if you don't have a lot of spare time and the unit is many years old, probably best to do a full rebuild instead of a piecemeal job like this.