Model based fault identification techniques can be used to diagnose local faults in rotating machinery; the equivalent loads that represent fault forces can be used to identify the fault location. But in some cases the equivalent loads smeared over many nodes, and make it hard to identify accurate fault location and transient fault force. In this paper, the fault location is identified using least squares fitting approach by the system’s vibration shape when the fault signal is periodic or quasi-periodic. And after the fault location is ascertained, the transient fault forces can be identified by transient residual vibration using simple matrix multiplications and additions. Numerical simulations and experiment on rotor to stator rub are used to test the method, which proved the efficiency of the method.