Local damage in rolling element bearings usually generates periodic impulses in vibration signals. The severity, repetition frequency and the fault excited resonance zone by these impulses are the key indicators for diagnosing bearing faults. In this paper, a methodology based on over complete rational dilation wavelet transform (ORDWT) is proposed, as it enjoys a good shift invariance. ORDWT offers flexibility in partitioning the frequency spectrum to generate a number of subbands (filters) with diverse bandwidths. The selection of the optimal filter that perfectly overlaps with the bearing fault excited resonance zone is based on the maximization of a proposed impulse detection measure “Temporal energy operated auto correlated kurtosis”. The proposed indicator is robust and consistent in evaluating the impulsiveness of fault signals in presence of interfering vibration such as heavy background noise or sporadic shocks unrelated to the fault or normal operation. The structure of the proposed indicator enables it to be sensitive to fault severity. For enhanced fault classification, an autocorrelation of the energy time series of the signal filtered through the optimal subband is proposed. The application of the proposed methodology is validated on simulated and experimental data. The study shows that the performance of the proposed technique is more robust and consistent in comparison to the original fast kurtogram and wavelet kurtogram.