Mini-Max S45 and Carter Guides

I just got an older model S45 at an auction and the top bearings and the entire bottom guide assembly need replacing. The parts guy at Mini-Max told me that they don't make the part I need for the lower guides (it fit under the table, but above the lower case of the saw) and I'd need a new assembly similar to the upper one (this one mounts inside the bottom case). The bottom assembly costs $175. To replace the upper bearings would be another $72.50. So, I'd be at $247.50.
On the other hand, Carter sells a conversion kit for $150 that includes (apparently) everything that I'd need for a complete conversion.
My question: Has anyone with an older S45 done this? How are the results? Any recommendations on where to spend my $$?
Thanks,
Chip
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Hi Chip, I installed the Carter guides on my 15 year old S45 saw. The lower guides are a definite improvement on the stock guides, but the top guides aren't as easily adjusted (or as robust IMO) as the original and so I kept the original top guides. The bottom backup bearing is much larger than the original on my saw, and I believe this helps disipate heat (and the bearing lasts longer). It's still a bear to adjust, but usually you don't have to adjust the bottom guides too often. One thing to mention...when installing the bottom Carter guides on my saw I had to elongate a slot to enable it to fit. Carter doesn't mention this in the instructions. I used a small round file and it worked fine.
Hope this helps. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to send me an email. I usually read the finewoodorking.com forums - I don't read this forum too often. I was just surfing and saw your post.
Dave
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Thanks very much for the response.
Chip
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