Words: Kristie Real

Photos: Jon Hernandez

When anyone can lift a truck or Jeep these days, only a few can truly make them drive and steer like perfection. Joey Maximus Gonzales of Maximum Altitude isn’t about creating builds just for show, given that function is what he and his team thrives on. So for his own Jeep build, function was of utmost importance. “I wanted to have the biggest, baddest and only JLU Jeep that would drive and perform on-and-off road like it should,” Joey mentions. “Something that would definitely grab your attention, even if you didn’t like lifted vehicles.”

“I wanted to have the biggest, baddest and only JLU Jeep that would drive and perform on-and-off road like it should.”

Joey’s JL Beast was already thought up before he even got the Jeep and Michael from Strictly Customs Design created the rendering with Joey’s vision and the project officially began. “I wanted the Jeep to be a full build and not just another cookie-cutter, bolt-on kit,” he admits. So he called his buddy Mark Hansen, owner of Road Armor, and mentioned he was building the “biggest and baddest JLU in the nation” and needed some extra flair. Mark was on board and provided him with their new bumpers, body armor, fender flares, rock sliders and billet tow shackles to give it clearance for articulation as well as an extremely aggressive look.
The suspension is where the craftsmanship really shines, sporting some 2004 F-350 Dually differentials welded in Artec Industries full axle trusses, along with arm mounts. They also installed Yukon 5:38 gears covered with aFe differential covers and custom-built all of their steering using DOM tubing and heims. Roam Off Road hooked them up with their one-off long arms, while Rebel Offroad took care of them with their coilover conversion kit.
Joey also called King Shocks and had them specifically build coilovers that would accommodate the 44×19.50R26 Interco Boggers. To get this beast moving down the road, they installed a Prodigy Turbo system and paired it with stainless Magnaflow exhaust giving the JL the power to move the 44s handily while Inland Driveshaft built them some custom drive shafts and a modified transfer case yoke to handle the additional power. “That Prodigy Turbo install was really nice, but being a new body style and computer system, the Beast was having a hard time recognizing the tune files,” Joey explains. “So the owner of Prodigy came down for a day and helped us tune it perfectly. Most Jeeps have a hard time doing 70mph, but our Beast’s sweet spot is 85mph!”
The Jeep was a huge hit with the public and judges at shows, taking home numerous “Best Of” trophies. “We’ve been reposted more than 2,500 times on social media,” he boasts. “The final build came out exceptionally well and one of the top 10 builds we’ve ever done (and we’ve done plenty over the past 25 years).”

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  • 26×18 American Force CRUX wheels
  • 44×19.50R26 Interco Bogger tires


  • Prodigy Turbo kit
  • Magnaflow stainless exhaust


  • Dana 60 front and rear differentials from a 2004 Ford F-350 Dually
  • Yukon Gear & Axle 5:38 gears
  • Artec Industries low profile axle trusses modified for the JLU and weld in high steering knuckle
  • Rebel Offroad King coilover suspension using Roam Offroad long arms
  • Maximum-built steering with PSC hydraulic steering
  • Custom-built power steering conversion
  • West Texas Offroad’s Red Neck Ram Drive Shaft Unlimited drive shafts and transfer case yoke
  • aFe differential covers which were sandblasted and powder coated


  • Road Armor body armor, rock sliders, front and rear bumpers


  • Warn 12K Platinum S winch, with Road Armor Shackles and Factor 55 Prolink


  • Rigid Adapt LED light bar
  • Rigid Radiance cubes
  • (16) Rigid Rock lights
  • Quake LED headlights


  • Alea Leather cross stitched with green stitching