The best thing to do is to put a jack under the frame and get the tire just off the ground. Now wiggle it up and down and side to side. Light pressure to detect wheel bearing issues. Heavy pressure to detect steering or suspension issues. As for the brake bolt mod. Yes. That is why the rears look so good. They are only doing 5% of the work, instead of 35%. The first thing I noticed after doing it, is that the car stays flatter during braking, with a lot less nose dive.
BTW. If you are just snugging up the bearing. Do it with the tire on the car, pop the center cap, pop the dust cap, pill the cotter pin, if no grease is required, tighten the nut til tire won't turn with light pressure, then loosen one quarter turn. You can go slightly beyond to get the new cotter pin in the hole. If they need grease, I take the nut, plate, and outer bearing off, and use a grease gun to fill the cavity with grease, regrease the outer and reinstall.
If replacing brakes and bearings, use Timpken bearings, and seals. And there are many good brake companies out there, but I use Autozone Duralast Gold. They have a price advantage, and a limited lifetime warranty. Oh, and they work well.
Another thing to consider is swapping out the old brake fluid with fresh.