Rod-fastened rotors are widely applied in heavy duty gas turbines and aircraft engines due to a good stiffness-to-weight behavior compared to conventional forged rotors. In order to achieve a continuous and stable power output, it is critical to guarantee the mechanical integrity. Therefore, the clamping force is of great importance which influences the distribution of the contact pressure. In an extreme condition, the bolt loosening resulting in an additional bending moment entails a different dynamic response. In this paper, the dynamics of a rod-fastened rotor subjected to the unbalance force, combined loads from the residual bow as well as the bolt loosening will be analyzed. First of all, an accurate rod-fastened rotor model is generated incorporating 1D beam element and zero-length joint element. Next, the mode superposition method is applied to derive the equations of motion and the analytical solution of the rod-fastened rotor will be achieved. Furthermore, experimental results are used to verify the simulations. It has demonstrated that the rod loosening yields a remarkably different behavior compared to the normal rotor after balancing. The dynamic response is also closely dependent on the unbalance as well as the relative phase angle between the location of unbalance and rod loosening. This paper provides a fundamental insight into the steady response of the rod-fastened rotor and may be used for fault identification as well as balancing of combined rotors.