In this paper, a dynamic model is presented for studying the dynamic properties of unbalanced rotor system supported by ball bearings under the effects of radial internal clearance and unbalanced rotor effect. The Newmark-β method is used to solve the nonlinear equations. The dynamics behaviors of a rigid rotor system are studied through frequency responses of the system. Clearances, nonlinear stiffness & nonlinear damping, radial forces and unbalanced forces—all these bring a significant influence to bear on the system stability. The validity of the proposed model verified by comparison of frequency components of the system response with those obtained from experiments. The peak-to-peak frequency response of the system for each speed is obtained.

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