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Have you checked if that noise is given by the tires? Usually I am facing this noise through my customers who are asking me to change bearings but on test drive I confirm the tires. Even on new TOYOTAS I found this problem.It is the tires quality used.
I would advise you to leave both sides with 235 45 17 this tire size would provide you with better handling and improved comfort also tires wil be more protected of suffering damage in the sidewalls caused by bumps and potholes just remember to keep them inflated at 38 +/- 2 psi.
Yes, just make sure you purchase a set of tires that keep the total diameter of the wheel/tire as close as possible to the OEM size. Otherwise your speedometer/odometer will be off, and you will adversely effect handling and fuel mileage.
goto the website,Tirerack.com they have an 800 number, call them and ask them the question, tell them exactly what you want to do, they cann tell you tires that can be plus sized for the car... that would be your best shot... even if you dont buy from them they can give you info over the phone in reguards to your car.... or you can call up any sears auto and tire center, and do the same thing... that will help you out and also give you pricing options before you buy... hope this helps you out...
Two items are of importance when changing tires. Tire height will change the distance rolled per revolution hence a larger tire will make your computer and speedometer/odometer think that the car is moving slower and a shorter distance each time the tire turns. It also puts more strain on the driveline in order to turn it. This creates problems going uphill and from standing starts. The second item is wheel offset. Every wheel has a certain amount of offset built into it. "0" offset is when the actual mounting surface of the wheel is half way between both edges of the wheel. Negative offset tends to tuck the wheel under the vehicle more, positive causes the wheel to extend towards the outside. If incorrect, this can cause clearance problems with tires hitting either the inside of the wheel tubs or edges of the fenders. Too much positive offset can also place stress on the wheel bearings. Regardless of where a wheel came from, it must match the bolt pattern of your hubs or it will not work. I recommend that you stay within one size height wise in regards to tires and that you also keep wheel offset changes as close to factory as possible, unless you understand the engineering behind it.
Go with the 265/75/16, they are the same as the Off Road Pathfinder. If you shop around, you can find them for alot less than the original size price. Be sure to find a good all season tire with a good treadwear rating.