It is a Chinese firmware because I'm working and living in Taiwan now -- and I'm giving my phone to a local Taiwanese, so I figured would be easier to just give with a rooted local rom.
I'll try your suggestion tonight and see how it goes.
**update No go. removing framework-res apk just kept phone at samsung logo/bootloop.
Original zip loads up android, but then it reboots as soon as you click on screen and then bootloops.
At least now you know it doesn't work on BRI/Chinese stock roms (or maybe it's NL1 issue).
Last edited by cyberboob; 26th April 2015 at 04:54 PM.