Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fort Wayne
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The turning knobs lock the hubs to the axle. If you have an electric transfer case (the knob on your dash as opposed to the lever on your floor) you MOST likely have auto locking hubs. That means when you flip into 4 a vacuum line automagically locks your hubs, else you have to do it manually. If you don't activate your hubs you will never have four wheel drive.
As for 4-HI vs 4-LO; in 4-HI your t-case operates in a 1:1 gear. In 4-LO it operates in a lower gear (2.72:1, methinks). 4-LO is great for deep mud, sand, snow, etc but is very dangerous on pavement or hard ground. It's very easy to break a drive shaft or some other weak link in your drivetrain.
Have fun out there, and give us some pics of the mud you come across.
'03.5 F-250 6.0L Lariat SuperCab 4x4
Edge Juice Platinum with Attitude Monitor