I have a 26 ford or and my question is would a dirty timer prevent the coils from buzzing or working?
It appears to me that the timer is the ground for the coils?
Yes, that's correct.
Also, you may need to clean all the connections on the timer and coilbox.
And have the key turned to battery.
And have power from the key switch to the coils, and a good ground path from the timer to the coils.
With key set to BATTERY there should be voltage where power (single wire) connects on the bottom of the coil box.
Also the brush/flapper/roller in the timer needs to be rotated to a firing position before you will hear a coil sing. Even I have spaced on that one a couple of times! Most of the time my engine stops just over top dead center and you hear the coil sing when you turn the key on. But every so often..
Have you had your coils checked to make sure they are good and if you did and they are good, did you have them adjusted? Properly adjusted coils makes all the difference and is well worth the cost. Jim Patrick