very very hard
The vacuum actuator is either in the fender or under the battery. The actually diff actuator is on the back/bottom of the front diff. Mine (2000 blazer) is under the battery. It sucks to get to. If you check the actuator and it doesn't move at all, check the vacuum, if it's not getting vacuum, check the switch on the top driver's side of the transfer case. It sends vacuum to the actuator. It has three vacuum hoses coming off of it. It costs fifteen dollars at autozone and usually greatly improves the performance of the acuator.
Raise and support front of vehicle with proper jacks. Unbolt front of driveshaft from diff. Unbolt both axles from differential flanges. Disconnect wiring shift cable and vent hose. Support differential with floor jack. Remove bolts holding diff to the frame. Lower diff on jack. You may need to turn the steering one way or the other for clearance.
Unbolt the differential cover while the diff sits over a drain pan, let it drain, scrape off the gasket, ensure the mating area is clean, replace the gasket and secure it with some RTV, replace the cover... there might be a specific torque spec set by the OEM, but I've always just done "tight is tight" without a problem on my Blazer, remove the fill plug on the side of the diff, add the recommended amount of 75W-90 gear oil (the amount, I don't remember offhand), replace the fill plug.
Should have some kind of a synchronized solenoid to engage the front diff. go to a parts store to look at a wiring diagram to trace it down or stop in and ask about it at a dealer. they will usually help if they are not too busy. The above isn't entirely true. on a 1986 S-10 Blazer the front hubs are actuated via a vacuum system. Under the hood of the s-10 will be a black plastic ball. (A little bit bigger than a softball.) There should be a single vacuum line hooked to it. This is what causes the front hubs to lock.
The drive axels can be removed & replaced individually. If you've actually broken the front differential housing you will need to get the gear ratio and find out what kind of diff you have in the truck and make a trip to the wrecking yard and get a used one and replace the diff. as a complete unit.
The front axle seals go bad. There is special "Dealer only" blue transfercase fluid and it is way overpriced at $14 a quart. Anyway, buy that first and get new seals then you'll need to drain diff and replace the seals, then reassemble the axle shafts into the diff and then fill with dealer only xfercase fluid.
You could remove the transfer case, front driveshaft, front diff and front axleshafts. Then you'll most likely have to swap the transmission for a 2 wheel drive version and find a 2 wheel drive rear driveshaft. You would basically need a 2 wheel drive Blazer with all its running gear in good shape so you could swap all the parts over. If you're not emotionally attached to your current 4wd Blazer, I recommend just selling it and finding a fitting 2wd replacement rig.
If I remember correctly the 80/90 is recommended for the front diff only and the rear takes a 140 weight. The front diff is free rolling most of the time and doesn't work as hard or brake down and heat the fluid like the rear does. I'd certainly not recommend putting that light oil in the rear diff.
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