Abstract : The aim of this work is to develop a diagnostic method allowing to quantify vibratory sources of stationary operating machines from measurements. The direct measurement of sources using a force sensor is often difficult to obtain, not to say impossible. Thus, their estimation is assessed from both operating response measurements and a transfer model of the structure. Concerning the method, several original developments are put forward, especially to optimise the technique when the machine structure has an heterogeneous dynamic behaviour. Moreover, a reliability indicator of the force estimation is introduced, based on the comparison between different approaches of the transfer system inversion. The reliability of results are indeed a crucial point for indirect force measurement, because the technique is known to be very sensitive to different types of errors (measurement noise, model error). The method is applied to the identification of Diesel engine internal sources. A special attention is paid to the construction of the transfer model, estimated by both experimental and numerical approaches. Identified forces are compared to excitations computed through a simple drive train model. The comparison allows to underline some model deficiencies as well as the relative robustness of the method. A source ranking operation is realized in order to present the interest of the indirect force measurement results.