A numerical study of dynamic instabilities and vibrations of mechanical systems with friction is presented. Of particular interest are friction-induced vibrations, self-excited oscillations and stick-slip motion. A typical pin-on-disk apparatus is modeled as the assembly of rigid bodies with elastic connections. An extended version of the Oden-Martins friction model is used to represent properties of the interface. The mechanical model of the frictional system is the basis for numerical analysis of dynamic instabilities caused by friction and of self-excited oscillations. Coupling between rotational and normal modes is the primary mechanism of resulting self-excited oscillations. These oscillations combine with high-frequency stick-slip motion to produce a significant reduction of the apparent kinetic coefficient of friction. As a particular study model, a pin-on-disk experimental setup has been selected. A good qualitative and quantitative correlation of numerical and experimental results is observed.