Originally Posted by DetroitFD
Is there a way to do the usual adjustment from the rear plate without removing the hub? I didn't see any star wheel from the rear.
You won't see the star wheel from the rear. The only way to see all the parts is to undo the hub nut and pull it apart. You should be doing it annually or every couple of thousand miles anyway.
Jack each wheel and give them a spin. If you can hear the brakes just lightly rubbing on the inside of the drum, leave them alone, they are fine.
While there is no load on the tires, check the run-out in the bearings: Push the top of the tire towards the trailer while pulling the bottom outwards, then reverse. There should be no movement whatsoever and no noise. Any click or movement, service the bearings NOW!
You can access the star wheel through a slot in the backing plate. It can be done with a screwdriver, though a "brake spoon" is much easier.
Unless you really know what you are doing, DON'T mess with the adjustment. You have the potential to set the brakes against the drum. The star wheel turns in only one direction (unless you can release the ratchet pawl). Once the brakes are locked, the drum becomes extremely difficult to remove.