car makes noise -- rrr-a, rrrr-a, rrr-a, rrrr-a

To all -
My 96 Taurus wagon goes rrr-a, rrrr-a, rrr-a, rrrr-a, a loud low squeak coming from the passenger side front. It sounds like plastic against plastic, or plastic against rubber.
A brake-mechanic thinks it's the ball joint assembly, from which the ball-joints are inaccessible. What is the best way to handle this?
Bob Syracuse, NY
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Could be the ball joint or tie rod, should be easy enough to diagnose, the ball joint is purchased as an assembly, not really a big deal for a competent mechanic.
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Thanks, Michael - finding a competent, honest mechanic might be difficult, but they must exist.
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the
Can you duplicate the noise by bouncing the front end? If so, disconnect the tie rod and bounce. Noise still there? Would be the ball joint. Noise gone, tie rod.
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