My Polaris 380 is 9-10 years old. I was planning on doing spring tuneup because the gears/wheel are often getting stuck. I've had to do this about every 3 years. Well the other day it was stuck and I manually rotated wheels then toss it back in pool. The blue top frame cracked into 20 pieces. So now I'm looking at a complete rebuild kit, Polaris part 9-100-9030. Looking a this, it seems to include about everything except for the white base frame. You can buy this online for $230. Why do they sell a rebuild kit that you can basically build your own cleaner from for a fraction of the price of new unit? The tough part to get is the white base frame; they exchange them only - which is the only thing that stops someone from building their on Polaris for 1/3 the cost. Of course these days with 3D printers, that white base frame might be easy for someone to copy.....
Anyway, my question seeking advice is to buy the rebuild kit for $230 or maybe just buy a new Polaris 280 for $420? I have to spend $100 of parts every 2-3 years to keep the 380 going. I've heard the 280 is more reliable so thinking this would cost less to maintain? $190 difference.
Also have to consider energy costs. Is the 380 a faster cleaner? Right now, I run my 380 1 hour each day and that works fine.
My booster pump was replaced 2 years ago.